Manoj Tiwary sounds quietly confident ahead of IPL 4 and with good reason: he got runs in domestic cricket this season, the Kolkata Knight Riders bought him back at the players' auction and he says he now has a clearly defined role in the team.
"It is going to be a very important tournament for me. The Knight Riders have shown faith in me and it is time to pay them back," Tiwary, 25, told HT.
"I am in good nick and want to make the most of it," he added. This season, the right-hand middle-order batsman scored 655 runs in first-class cricket, 433 in List A matches and 251 in the domestic T20s, captaining Bengal to the national title in the shortest format.
IPL 3 was Tiwary's first season with the KKR, having taken a pay cut to move out of Delhi Daredevils where he got limited opportunities in two years and suffered a nasty hand injury in South Africa. He finished IPL 3 with 237 runs, but was hamstrung by the management's confusion over his spot in the batting order. "I was asked to open, which was a new challenge because I had never done it. I got one Man-of-the-Match award (for 50 off 29 balls against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens), but was then shifted down the order."
He got one more MoM award for his 47-ball 75 against the KXIP at Mohali. "This year I have a clear idea of what my role will be," said Tiwary, who batted at No. 3 in the practice matches, for which Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis were unavailable.
He is likely to bat lower in the order in the IPL and KKR will hope his clean hitting, quick running and intelligent batting come good even there.