Mumbai: After stealing the show with a confident knock of 93 for India 'A' against the touring England team, Manoj Tiwary on Tuesday said that he was ready for the grind of Test cricket. There is a stiff competition for No. 6 spot in the Indian team and with Tiwary compiling a determined half-century, the selectors might have a sweet head-ache before making the final selection.
"I am ready for Test cricket. There is a competition for the No. 6 spot, but it's up to the selectors. I will try my best. Let's see what happens," said the Bengal captain at the post-play media conference. The 27-year-old, who has played only eight ODIs in four years since his debut, said he was very happy with the way he had played but was unhappy at missing out on a well-merited hundred.
"I am quite happy with my performance, though, I am disappointed for missing out on my hundred. I wanted to stay long on the wicket. I was definitely waiting for an opportunity," said Tiwary, who batted for 202 minutes and faced 150 balls. Tiwary, who was dismissed by Tim Bresnan with the second new ball, said that the wicket was a bit slow but England had a quality attack at their disposal.
"They are a quality attack but did not try to go all out. The wicket was a bit slow," Tiwary, who struck 12 boundaries during his stay at the wicket, said. He also sounded warning to the rival batsmen saying that the Indian spinners would be handful for them in the four-Test rubber starting on November 15 at Ahmedabad. "They have got a big challenge ahead. It's not going to be easy for them against our quality spinners. They are going to face a lot of problems," Tiwary said.
The Bengal skipper said he had no issues encountering off-spinner Graeme Swann and left-arm spinner Samit Patel. "Swann is a top class bowler. I was picking up his flight and trajectory well," he said. Tiwary, meanwhile, informed that he watches inspirational videos to keep himself motivated and there was no better inspiration than his teammate Yuvraj Singh, who battled cancer for close to a year before making a comeback into the team.
"I enjoy watching inspirational videos. I never let my confidence drop, whether I get a zero or a hundred. Yuvraj Singh is a great inspiration, the way he has come back after battling cancer to play again. It's unbelievable," he said. Team coach Lalchand Rajput also praised Yuvraj for his brilliant knock of 59, in which he hardly looked troubled before letting his impetuosity get the better of him.
"Manoj played a very good knock, but Yuvraj outclassed everyone. Yuvraj was at his best," Rajput said. He was also pleased with the partnership between Tiwary and Irfan Pathan that raised 110 runs for the seventh wicket to rescue the team from a precarious situation. "It was a very crucial partnership which has helped us past our goal of 300 run mark," he remarked.