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His sensational hitting for the Mumbai Indians and long tresses a la Mahendra Singh Dhoni made him a household name during IPL 2010. They also earned him a USD 1.6 million contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2011 IPL Player Auction.
But what goes up comes down. Saurabh Tiwary has been feeling the bitter taste of that reality since quite some time now. The drought of runs in IPL 2011 has still not ended for this young man as he continues to struggle for runs this season as well.
Thanks to RCB’s power-packed batting line-up, Tiwary’s failure with the bat has slipped under the radar. You ask him about his lack of runs, and Tiwary says with a sheepish grin, “Bhagwan kare runs jaldi aane lage [I pray to God that I start scoring runs soon].”
With international batting stars occupying the top-order, there’s not much space left for Tiwary to display his ball-thwacking prowess. He rightly brings up that point while trying his best not to make it sound like an excuse. “I think I am batting way down the order and this could be one reason,” he says before quickly adding, “The management knows better about the batting order, and whichever position they send me in, I just try to perform and give my best.”
However, Tiwary is not complaining for having the likes of Chris Gayle, Ab de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan around in the dressing room. The Jharkhand lad says he keeps picking the brains of these players in the nets and has a list of things he wants to imbibe from each of them. He shared some of them with iplt20.com in a short chat.
“I’d like to have Gayle’s body. He’s so powerful. It’s very difficult to bat like him. He’s a great batsman and one of the game’s legends in his own right. I always try to keep learning something or the other from him.”
AB de Villiers
“He’s an extremely fit cricketer and a brilliant fielder. I’d love to imbibe his fitness and want to field like him.”
“His approach to the game is very positive, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding. I love that about him.”
Tiwary ends the interview by paying one of the most glowing compliments to his former U-19 India captain, Virat Kohli.“He possesses everything that I mentioned above, and that is the reason he is playing for India,” he says.
Tiwary was a crucial part of India’s U-19 team, which was led to the World Cup glory in 2008 by Virat. The relationship between these two players has remained special and Tiwary says he shares a very good rapport with his “batch-mate”.
“You can never write us off,” was what Albie Morkel had to say after his scintillating match-winning knock at the Chepauk against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The hosts Chennai Super Kings were chasing a humongous target of 206. With 43 required off the last two overs, RCB were well and truly in the driver’s seat.
However, the strapping South African all-rounder turned the match on its head by smacking 28 off the 19th over, bowled by Virat Kohli. In all, Morkel hit three sixes and two fours in his seven-ball stay at the crease.
After scripting this sensational win for CSK, Morkel told iplt20.com that belief has been the key ingredient in the team’s tremendous success over the years. What are your thoughts on this chase?
I think it was very good wicket, and we had to believe in ourselves that if we play well, we will get close. I think we were bit behind the required rate; but as they say, a T20 game is not over till it’s over. ‘Belief’, would this word sum up CSK’s win today?
Definitely. Even if you look at the other tournaments in the past, often we had a slow start and then a good game and we continued on from there. You can never write us off. Tonight, it was a good wicket. Faf du Plessis played well up front and Dhoni was good. I’m just really happy. We had a slow start to this tournament; we got bowled out for [about] 100 in two games, so hopefully, this will give us a bit of confidence.
Is CSK expected to chase such steep a target with the number of quality finishers you have in your team?
Sometime it creates a problem. When you have a big batting line-up, you sort of lose your responsibility as a player, because you know that you have guys behind you. But on a night like tonight, it’s great to have big hitters down the order. Did your eyes light up when you saw Virat Kohli bowling the 19th over?
We knew that was going to happen. The two very good spinners were bowled out early, and I think they tried to win the game before the last over. So, we knew they would have to bowl a part-timer at some point at the death. What was the talk in the dressing room after the first innings?
We were a little bit disappointed. When a team puts 200 on the board, it’s a big total in T20. But it was a good wicket and we knew we could chase it down if we bat deep. Do you think the team is finally coming to terms with the wicket?
This was a completely different wicket than the one in the first game, which had a lot of grass on it. This was a fantastic wicket; and if we play on the same wicket, we will have a lot of high-scoring games.