Australia will find our spinners difficult to handle: Tiwary
Chennai: His confidence boosted after a century in a warm-up game against Australia, Manoj Tiwary today sounded a warning to the visitors, saying that they are likely to struggle in the upcoming Test series against India given their susceptibility against quality spin bowling.
"It`s going to be difficult for them. Their technique today was found wanting. Their defence wasn`t right. If they play like this, it will be difficult for them," Tiwary said after striking 129 for India A here.
"If they face quality spinners like Bhajji pa (Harbhajan Singh), (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Pragyan) Ojha the way they have been bowling, it will be difficult for them," the Bengal batsman added after staking a claim for a maiden call-up to the Test side with a timely ton.
Tiwary said the Aussies were not sure of their defence.
"They didn`t play our spinners as they should have. I think their technique was found wanting as far as facing spinners was concerned. They were not sure of their defence, to be honest. That`s why they were not stretching enough to play the spinners and not going back enough either."
Conditions in the Indian sub-continent, especially the pitch, is another factor that could trouble Australia in the four-match series, according to Tiwary.
"This pitch was slow so their fast bowlers didn`t get much help. They tried to get reverse swing going, but that also didn`t happen much. Then they tried to hit the pads. If they get these kinds of wickets here, it will be difficult for all their bowlers, to be honest."
Though a middle-order batsman, Tiwary said he was open to batting at any position for the country.
"I am open to anything... I love challenges. Wherever the team management wants you to bat, if your country wants me to bat at No. 1 or No. 2, I will go despite being a middle-order batsman. You have to tackle the new ball... It will be difficult, but not impossible."
Tiwary has now left it on the selectors to decide his fate.
"My dream has always been to play Test cricket. It's up to the selectors to decide if they want me, to show some faith in me as far as Test selection is concerned. My job is to score runs and I will keep doing that till I play first-class cricket. Let's see what happens.
"It does get difficult because you have to perform constantly. The competition is so high that you can't afford to miss a few innings, because then you have to go back a few months in the selection. At times it is difficult, but having said that, these are the challenges I love to face.
"When people talk about me and say I don't have technique to play Test cricket, I listen to them but I love to go out and prove them wrong and, more importantly, I like proving that to myself. As long as I go out and score runs and help my team, nothing else matters."
The batsman naturally, was delighted to have scored runs against an international side.
"I'm very happy with my contribution. Most importantly, it's come against a touring side. Obviously compared to the quality of bowling we face in domestic cricket, it's much better and if you score runs against them, it gives you great satisfaction. After all the hard work we do, it feels good when the results come.
About the day's game plan he said, "After playing a couple of overs in the morning, the plan was to bat till the tea session. I could have easily carried on batting but I played a loose shot and lost out on 20-25 runs. The idea was to score quickly, but in trying to hit a good ball, I got out.
"It was a comfortable wicket to bat on, because it's on the slower side and the ball is not going off the wicket for the spinners. Only a bit of turn is there. So you have to keep bowling at the right areas to test the patience of the batsmen. Eventually, the batsman will have to make mistakes.
His career has been plagued with injuries, most recently the one before the Pakistan ODI series last December, and Tiwary said it does get frustrating at times.
"It does get frustrating, but you have to move on. The timing of the injury wasn't right for me, because I knew that in the coming ODIs (against Pakistan) I would have played. Knowing that, and getting injured, makes you feel bad. But I have moved on. There's no point thinking about injuries."
According to Tiwary, it's only about scoring runs and not how he gets them.
"I can't do much about what people think about me. I can only go out and score. If you look ugly and score, I would take it. I would go for the runs even if I look odd or ugly in facing fast bowlers. I know my game. That's why I have scored more than 5000 runs in seven years of first-class cricket.
"I came out to play without thinking of impressing anyone but to make myself happy by scoring runs. I was very conscious of making big runs, to convince myself that I could score runs against a quality attack.
"I am a firm believer in destiny. I do my honest hard work and leave the rest to destiny."