Self-belief helped me perform: Tiwary
Kandy, Aug 6: Upcoming cricketer Manoj Tiwary has managed to make the most of the few opportunities he has received so far. Tiwary played two crucial knocks, worth 21 and 65 respectively, in the last two wins against Sri Lanka, besides claiming a four-for in the fourth ODI. A livewire on the field, the 26-year-old is a valuable asset to the team, especially in the shorter formats of the game.
Speaking to the media ahead of the only T20I against SL, Tiwary reflected on his cricketing journey so far.
Excerpts from the pre-match press conference:
On the team’s approach to the only T20I after winning the ODI series
We will play this match with the same intensity with which we played the ODIs. Our aim is to win the T20I comprehensively as well.
On his performance and how the experience has been after waiting in the wings for quite some time
It was not very easy [to perform] when I got an opportunity to play after sitting out for so many days. My focus was on how I could improve my game during practice sessions and be ready [to play] since I knew that someday I would get a chance to play. So the effort was towards that and to maintain a good mindset. It is not always easy [to do that]. Those who play in the first eleven get more practice during the practice sessions so at that time it is a bit difficult to [maintain] your [positive] mindset. It is important to be ready [to play a game at any time] because these days the competition is so [stiff] that the moment you get an opportunity, you have to grab it. I always used to focus on maintaining the right frame of mind and not losing my self-confidence and self-belief during that process. That was the preparation and the self-belief that has helped me perform.
On India’s approach to the T20I after gaining the No. 2 position in the ICC ODI rankings
Everybody is happy that we have reached the No. 2 spot on the [ICC rankings] table and we celebrated it as a team because from the time we left India, we had a few plans. We had a lot of meetings about how to go about things in all departments and about how we could improve. We have achieved [what we set out to do]. There were a few discussions about what our goals were. We have achieved those and we are happy about that. Everyone is looking forward to this T20I match. The way everyone has been performing, if we play like that then we can definitely expect a good result.
On the importance of the sole T20I
It is very important, to be honest. When you are playing for your country, any international match is important for me as well as for everyone else.
On his mindset going in to bat in difficult situations in both games
The mindset was to stay positive and play according to the situation. When a player is playing after a long time, there is the pressure to perform and [also to adjust to] the situation on the ground and the conditions. You have to build the innings accordingly while playing. At the back of my mind [I knew that] no matter what the situation was, I had to play accordingly and if I got out while playing positively, then no problem. The team and its requirement come first. I have tried to play as per the need of the situation.
On whether bowling to top Indian batsmen in the nets helps him in a game situation
I have been practicing my bowling and have bowled to some good batsmen and I try to carry that confidence forward into the match. But the match situation and the pressure in a match are different. The effort is to bowl well along with my batting.
On how he kept himself motivated as he waited for his chance and whether he spoke to anyone about it
Basically, whenever I think about things like not playing, or not getting an opportunity despite scoring a hundred, I just analyse myself. As the days pass by, you tend to improve mentally as well and you get experience. When you look around yourself, when you travel with the Indian team, sit with them, you [learn] know how to deal with situations each day. When you follow so much cricket with so many things happening in front of you, [you learn from that]. But when it comes to keeping myself motivated, my family has been supportive of me, as have my coach and friends. Also, I watch a lot of motivational videos from all sports around the world. Looking at those videos, I do get pumped up at times and it keeps me in the right frame of mind. I’ve always wanted to contribute to the team in the way other athletes have in tough situations.