Abhimanyu Easwaran

Exclusive: What is on the mind of Manoj Tiwary before Delhi encounter?

[caption id="attachment_56585" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Manoj Bengal to face Delhi in the Ranji Trophy semifinal. Image Source: File Pic[/caption]

Sabyasachi Bagchi: For the few years we have witnessed the change in captaincy of Bengal Cricket Ranji team however trust has been put on Manoj Tiwary for the past three seasons by CAB President Ranji Trophy. On the other hand similarly Manoj too had done his job and encouraged the team as Bengal recently knocked out defending champions Gujarat at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in the quarter finals of the tournament. Bengal will be facing Delhi in the semis as the team is ready to arrive at Kolkata today. On the other hand Manoj is not contended as his target is the main trophy as he spoke exclusively to www.xtratime.in from Jaipur, where he disclosed topics ranging from guiding juniors in the dressing room to his brawl with Rishabh Pant and Gautam Gambhir in 2015 at Delhi.

XT: How will you describe this season as a captain?

Manoj: We are very happy at this moment. But a couple of hurdles are still left. The Semi finals and then the finals are left. The aim to become the champions is just two hurdles away and that is our focus as a lot of work is still left. The boys are playing  well and there is a positive environment in the team.

XT: For the past two seasons, time and again you have said that the team is good and it will prosper if given proper amount of time. How did you dealt with this situation?

Manoj: I don't pay any heed to what critics say as I believe that the focus shifts from the aim if you listen top these criticisms. I have full faith on the team and the hard work has been paying off very well. The belief was in the team and as I result I could make such comments. Moreover you need to give time as the team is on a transition and it takes time to reach the maturity so you need to be patient. If it's a constructive criticism then we can learn a lot from it.

XT: In the previous match, Bengal lost 4 wickets in quick succession and then turned back to score 354 runs. If it was the Bengal team 10 years ago then they could have lost the game, however this team is different as they have the hunger to win. Any such changes in you that has made the difference?

Manoj: I think the players understand what the team management wants, what the captain wants. If you can imbibe confidence among the players then only they can perform give their best on the field. If the mindset is different then they can't perform well. So we always aim to boost up their confidence every-time and make them realize their potential. Boosting up the player depends on the individual, so it is dealt carefully.

XT: Bengal scored 354 runs and then didn't allow Gujarat to bat in the second innings. Were you too careful about the match that the lead was enough or was it a batting practice before the semis?

Manoj: No we never take up the mindset to think that a match is a practice issue. The second innings was equally important as we batted well. Abhimanyu Easwaran batted really well in the both the innings as he scored 129 and 114.

Often he have seen teams collapsing in the second innings but here we batted with a firm mindset. Abhimanyu and Writtik Chatterjee too played brilliantly.

XT: You have backed Anustup Majumdar. What's your say on that?

Manoj: I have nothing new to say. You have seen how he has been performing and it's good that the middle order has been firm.

XT: You have hard and sweet memories against your next opponent i.e. Delhi (referring to the brawl with Gambhir in 2015) What is your opinion on that?

Manoj: No, no I have nothing to say. The focus is only playing a cricket match. Rishabh Pant is like my small brother and he respects me a lot and I am in good terms with Gautam Gambhir. There's nothing bitter sour to say.

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