Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary (IANS photo)

Under pressure to keep his place in the Bengal Ranji team, Manoj Tiwary on Tuesday answered his critics in emphatic fashion, hitting an unbeaten double-century against Madhya Pradesh, his fifth in first-class cricket.

Ahead of the season, there were talks of him being removed as the Bengal captain and then an ultimatum was issued – perform or perish. Tiwary isn’t diplomatic but this time, he let his bat do the talking scoring 201 not out.

However, he did take a slight dig at his naysayers after a memorable innings. “Hopefully I won’t be dropped after this. First, I heard my captaincy is under the scanner. Then, I heard I could be dropped. Yes, a response was due,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Thanks to his double-ton, Bengal declared their first innings after piling on 510/9 in their Ranji Trophy 2018-19 Elite Group B, Round 2 match at Eden Gardens.

Before the Ranji season kicked-off, Tiwary thought of resigning as captain after Bengal finished sixth in Elite Group C of Vijay Hazare Trophy. “I’m used to criticism. I believe in straight-talking. I can be diplomatic. But that’s not me. I never fight for my personal benefit. I always fight for my team. Whatever happened this season could have been avoided. But we have moved on,” he said.

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly was all praise for Tiwary. “Congratulations to him. Manoj is very dear to us,” he said.