Many people consider the start of Manoj Tiwary’s international career an unlucky one. To fly into Brisbane as Yuvraj Singh’s replacement to face the likes of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken without properly overcoming jet lag is a tough ask for anyone. Let alone the 22-year-old Manoj Tiwary.
However, in a live chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda’s Facebook page, he revealed that his international career was supposed to start a year earlier in Bangladesh. And, the luck in that case was worse.
Manoj Tiwary was first picked for the Indian team to tour Bangladesh in 2007, following a stellar show in the 2006/07 Ranji Trophy. He had almost single-handedly guided Bengal to the final, amassing 796 runs at a whopping average of 99.5.
But as destiny would have it, Manoj Tiwary dislocated his shoulder while doing fielding drills on the eve of the match.
Revealing he was certain to debut in that game, Tiwary said, “I was in great form, I was in a great rhythm...but I had to miss out because my anterior labrum tore. That day I went to my hotel room and cried.”
But, he was quick enough to realise that such mishaps are part and parcel of every athlete's career.
Had to wait 1.5 years to make my Ranji debut: Manoj Tiwary
Tiwary said he had to wait one-and-half years to make his Ranji Trophy debut after leading the India under-19 side, which had future India stars like Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla. But, Manoj Tiwary made sure he seized the opportunity whenever it came.
Referring to Bengal’s second game of the 2006/07 season, Manoj Tiwary said he overheard a conversation in which the regular number four batter was asking coach Paras Mhambrey to send in a nightwatchman.
“I went up to Paras Mhambrey and said, ‘Don’t send a nightwatchman. If you want to send someone, send me',” Manoj Tiwary added.
Mhambrey did listen to the youngster, and Manoj Tiwary went out to bat at number four and scored an unbeaten 210 against Mumbai.
“I made the number four spot my own,” Manoj Tiwary asserted.
And, indeed because the only hundred he has in India colours is batting in the same position against the West Indies in 2011. Manoj Tiwary would play the last of his 12 ODIs back in 2015, apart from the 3 T20Is he played earlier in his career.