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In the previous two matches the Pune Warriors India successfully defended totals, both home and away. However, their winning streak was halted by the Kings XI Punjab at the PCA Stadium here. The Dimitri Mascarenhas-led KXIP bowling attack and good work in the field ensured that the visitors were restricted to a subpar score. While defending this small total, missed chances in the field compounded PWI’s problems as the home team cruised to victory. PWI’s top scorer Mithun Manhas, who made 31 off 28, spoke to iplt20.com about the match.
Excerpts from his post-match interaction with iplt20.com:
On PWI’s confidence coming into this match and the team setting competitive targets in earlier games
We did [come in with the confidence of beating KXIP and setting targets]. But the wickets kept falling at regular intervals, so it was hard to get them [runs]. In a Twenty20 game [to defend] you need to get those wickets early on, but if you are not able to do that then you can’t comeback because it is a short format of the game. On the pitch
It was helping the bowlers; initially it was swinging and then stopping also. On what would have been a par score
Anything close to 140 runs would have been a decent score. On whether they felt they had a chance of defending a small total
Definitely. We had a chance if we had got those early wickets.
On KXIP’s Shaun Marsh, who scored 64*
We gave him three chances I think; one run-out was missed and twice catches [were dropped]. So I think that made the difference.
On his own batting
Here my job is to play till the end, and that is what I am trying to do. But [I was] unlucky today because I could have waited there. On playing under Sourav Ganguly
He lets me be myself, so that is one big advantage. He doesn’t force any opinion. Whenever I ask him, he just tells me to play my normal game. On regrouping for the next game
We have got two wins under our belt, so I don’t think it should bother us that much. The matches are going to be like this only [...] we just got to hang in there and play our part and do our best.
On IPL as a platform for getting into the national side
Not only for me but for every youngster it is a good platform. If you perform well, definitely you will be recognized, your performance will be acknowledged and you will definitely get a chance.
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”.