Manoj Tiwari is one of the most unlucky cricketer of Indian cricket. Tiwari was an aggressive right-handed middle-order batsman. His talent is evident only by taking a look at his domestic numbers.
On domestic cricket, statistics can be deceiving, but Manoj’s ability was unquestionable. He looked at the enigmatic Kevin Pietersen while batsmanship. His strokeplay and innovative style of batting were just like Kevin Pietersen.
The right-handed batter from Howrah was hard to overlook, and he also had a calm attitude in the field. Playing for Bengal, Manoj impressed everyone with 796 runs at an average of 99.50 in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy. It was a record for Bengal in Ranji Trophy.
That performance forced his way onto India’s Bangladesh tour. Where everyone knew he was going to make his debut. But Tiwari severely injured his shoulder during fielding practice just before the match in Mirpur. His bad luck began.
Manoj Tiwari the unlucky cricketer
Table of Contents
Manoj Tiwari made his domestic debut for Bengal in 2004. He played his first domestic match against Delhi in the historic Eden Gardens. But it was not a good show for Tiwari. He had scored only eight runs in the first innings and 16 in the second innings.
In the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy season, the Bengal batter surprised everyone with 796 runs at an average of 99.50. During this season, he broke multiple records for Bengal. Manoj Tiwari’s unbeaten 151 against Karnataka guided Bengal to the Ranji Trophy final on a penultimate day in Kolkata. That inning was the landmark for his career.
Tiwary made his 100th first-class cricket appearance in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Chhattisgarh in October 2017. He had scored 27 centuries in his first-class career, including five double hundreds. Tiwari made his fifth double-century in first-class cricket in November 2018 while batting for Bengal against Madhya Pradesh.
In January 2020, in the Ranji Trophy Elite Group A match against Hyderabad, Tiwari at the age of 34, scored his maiden triple century in first-class cricket. Tiwari hit 30 fours and five sixes in his 414-ball 303. Tiwary put up a 190-run fifth-wicket stand with Shreevats Goswami. Then 159 run eighth-wicket partnership with Arnab Nandi.
He played 125 first-class matches and scored 8965 runs with an average of 50.36. In his List-A career, Tiwari played 163 matches, scored 5466 runs with an average of 42.37. He is one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit.
Following the disappointing 2007 ODI World Cup, the Indian team reluctantly decided for youth, and Manoj did get the rare chance. After that unfortunate incident in Bangladesh, Tiwary got the next call after a year.
In the 2007–08 Commonwealth Bank Series, Manoj Tiwari made his international debut against Australia. For some unknown reason, Dhoni always disliked him. After a long 36-hour flight, he was forced to make his debut against Australia. Against Australia’s high-profile bowling attack and due to jet lag, Tiwary struggled to get going and had a nightmare time for him in the middle. He was not able to manage Brett Lee’s speed. He only got two runs out of 16 deliveries.
Despite this, his domestic performances kept him in competition, and he became the go-to batsman whenever a prominent batsman went down with an injury. He was later called up to the Indian team for the 2011 West Indies tour to replace Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj was forced to withdraw due to a lung infection.
Manoj Tiwari got the opportunity to play only the 4th and 5th ODIs in the series. In October, he was selected for England’s tour of India. He played only the fifth One-Day International and scored 24 runs.
Tiwari was selected for the November–December ODIs against the West Indies. He played in the 5th ODI for India in Chennai. In that match, he scored his only century in his International career. When he went to bat, India was two wickets down for only one run in the first over of the game. Manoj Tiwari scored his maiden ODI century (104 not out) while suffering from cramping. He was awarded the Man-Of-The-Match for this match-winning knock.
Even after the century, Tiwari was relegated to the reserves for 14 consecutive matches by captain Dhoni. He made an impressive comeback as an all-rounder in replacement of leg spinner Rahul Sharma against Sri Lanka in Colombo, taking 4/61 with his leg breaks in 10 overs to restrict the hosts to 251/8. He dismissed Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, and Thisara Perera and also scored a fighting 21 from 38 balls. But once again, Tiwari was out of the team for many matches.
Manoj Tiwari was also selected for the Commonwealth Bank tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka. However, he was not allowed to play in any of the matches. Again, bad luck. Manoj Tiwari was named to the Indian team for the Asia Cup 2012. But he did not appear in any of the matches. So far, he has been fortunate.
Manoj Tiwari’s strongest rival for a spot in the side was Rohit Sharma, and the Mumbaikar had significantly got more support even during his lean periods, which were quite long at times. Since 2013, there was no turning back for Rohit. Manoj on the other hand did not assist his chances by being injured multiple times. Most of them at vital moments.
READ: Munaf Patel, the unsung hero of India in the 2011 World Cup
Manoj Tiwari played his last ODI against Zimbabwe on July 14, 2015. He scored only ten runs. He played only 12 ODI for India and scored 287 runs.
October 29, 2011, Manoj Tiwari made his T20 debut at his home ground at the Eden Gardens against England. He scored only 15 in 17 balls. Manoj Tiwari played his last T20 Against New Zealand on September 11, 2012.
He played only three T20 for India.
Despite his unfortunate Team India days, he managed to perform in the IPL. The Delhi Daredevils got Tiwari in the first season of the Indian Premier League. Before the 2010 IPL season, he joined the Kolkata Knight Riders in exchange for Moises Henriques. In the final of the 2012 edition, he hit the winning runs for KKR.
In the 2017 Indian Premier League auction, the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise brought Tiwari. In the 2017 edition, he had a strong showing with the Supergiants, scoring 324 runs at a 32.4 average. His IPL stats, however, have yet to be rewarded. 2018 IPL auction Kings XI Punjab brought him for the season.
However, after analyzing Manoj Tiwari’s career, everybody can say, he might have been an important middle-order batsman with bowling ability when we were looking for a decent all-rounder. But Manoj Tiwari’s misfortunes spoiled it all.
Political Career of Manoj Tiwari
In February 2021, Manoj Tiwari joined Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress party. He was elected from the Shibpur constituency in 2021Assembly Election. He was appointed as a minister of state for Sports and Youth in the Mamta Banerjee government’s third term.