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Tiwary leaps into big league in quick time

Monday will surely be an unforgettable day for Saurabh Tiwary. Not because he took the field at Headingley to replace injured Sudeep Tyagi during India-A's tour opener against Yorkshire, but because of his maiden call-up in the India team, reports Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Jun 08, 2010 00:08 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Monday will surely be an unforgettable day for Saurabh Tiwary. Not because he took the field at Headingley to replace injured Sudeep Tyagi during India-A's tour opener against Yorkshire, but because of his maiden call-up in the India team. Tiwary, the Jharkhand southpaw, didn't have much to do except watch his India-A teammates pile on the runs against Yorkshire on the first two days of the 3-day tie. But it all changed on Monday.

To begin with, he had to replace injured Tyagi on the field at the start of the day. A little later, he saw Tyagi shouting to congratulate him for his selection in India's squad for the Asia Cup, to be played in Sri Lanka from June 15.

“It is a morale-booster for the whole team,” India-A coach Pravin Amre told Hindustan Times on Monday. “Everyone is very happy for Saurabh. He really deserves it.”

Ever since returning from Malaysia as member of India's triumphant Under-19 World Cup squad in 2008, Tiwary has been consistently improving as a batsman. Known for his power-hitter just like his idol Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the 20-year-old showed in the third edition of the Indian Premier League that he had indeed learnt the art of building an innings at a young age.

Hailing from Dhoni's state and sporting a similar hairdo that the India skipper had when he broke into the Indian team, Tiwary had to do something special to emerge from Dhoni's shadow. Riding on the back of a fruitful domestic season, Tiwary excelled for Mumbai Indians in IPL-III, emerging as the highest uncapped run-getter in the tournament.

“He has matured a lot in quick time,” Amre, who has followed Tiwary's progress ever since his stints at the National Cricket Academy as a junior cricketer, said. “He seems to have realised his potential as a cricketer. More importantly, he now knows what needs to be done in the middle to live up to his potential.” After a fruitful IPL campaign, Tiwary had said that his “next target” was to break into the India-A squad. Now that he has gone one step further, it remains to be seen if he can make use of whatever opportunity he gets at the highest level.