India cricketer Manoj Tiwary believes there was enough space in the middle order to accommodate him in the set-up. But unfortunately, he had to warm the bench for 14 consecutive matches after scoring a match-winning hundred against the West Indies in an ODI in Chennai in late 2011.
When asked in a live session with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda’s Facebook page on whether he should have replaced Rohit Sharma during one of the latter’s lean patches between 2010 and 2013, Manoj Tiwary said, “There was enough space in the middle order that I could have fit in along with these guys.”
“When we went to Australia, most of the middle order was not getting runs,” Manoj Tiwary added. And indeed, there were just two Indians in the list of highest run-getters in the 2011/12 Commonwealth Bank series. And the two were Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir – both top order players.
Manoj Tiwary never got a consistent run
He revealed he was hoping he would get the go-ahead in subsequent games, but that did not happen. When he was finally back in the playing eleven, six months and 14 ODIs had passed.
And he fared well in that tour to Sri Lanka in 2012. He starred with the ball, returning figures of 4 for 61 in the fourth ODI and then scored a classy 65 off 68 balls in the next one.
Manoj Tiwary also could not make sense of Duncan Fletcher’s decision when the then Indian coach asked him to open the batting in an ODI in North Sound. It was just his second ODI and he was dismissed after scoring a meagre 2.
He, however, rebutted any sort of angst against Rohit Sharma saying, “I do not want to compare myself with anyone. Rohit has been a fantastic cricketer.” He said he always believed in Rohit’s abilities, while narrating an incident of a zonal game when Rohit had smashed a quickfire hundred against Manoj Tiwary’s side.