New Delhi: After being ignored in the ‘A’ squads announced for the series against South Africa ‘A’, the three-team Duleep Trophy and quadrangular series involving Australia ‘A’, South Africa ‘A’ and two teams from India, Manoj Tiwary has urged the selectors to give him clarity on the “parameters” to make the cut. Tiwary had amassed 507 runs at 126.70 in List-A matches last season, the highest average by a player in a single domestic season, and also averaged more than 100 in the 50-over Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophies too while playing for Bengal.
"I was hoping to be picked in the India ‘A’ squads," Tiwary told ESPNCricinfo. "When somebody performs to his highest, then he should be rewarded. And I had an outstanding 50-over tournament last season, creating a record that no one else has had in Indian cricket history.
"Everybody in the world knows, age is just a number. At the age of 32 to get cornered for age - that should not be the reason. Everybody heard MS Dhoni's response to the average age of the Chennai franchise in the IPL. He looked at a player and assessed whether he was quick in the field, whether he has ball sense and if he has agility. That's how players should be looked at. And as far as fitness is concerned, I'm always up there. I don't know what more I have to do, there is no clarity from the selectors. And I would love to hear from them. If I can get to know what the parameters are, then obviously I will plan accordingly.
"Even I have a dream to play for India, and the only way forward is step by step. I've never got an opportunity to play under Rahul [Dravid] bhai, the India ‘A’ coach, so I wanted an opportunity, to be honest. It's difficult to make it to the senior team right now, but every time India ‘A’ plays, it's important because it allows players the opportunity to go to the next level. But I would really love to hear from the people who are overlooking me. I can't recollect the last time the selectors spoke to me.
"If IPL is the main cause behind the selection, then I had an outstanding 2017. I won the most number of FBB awards with Gautam Gambhir, and I was one of the top performers in my team. So that's why I say I don't know what metric is being used for selection. That's why I want to hear from the selectors."
Tiwary last appeared for India in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 2015. He has appeared in 12 ODIs with a highest score of 104*, made against West Indies. He has also played 3 T20s but never been able to hold a place down.
"Although I have matured as a cricketer, as an individual, those experiences have stuck with me," Tiwary said, "After scoring a hundred for India, I was out of the playing XI for 14 games. That's also understandable because it's the India team. But you do get frustrated. I'm human too.
"It was a team decision and I accept it, but I cannot forget that. I cannot recollect anyone scoring a 100 and getting dropped. I was one of them. So, when you get ignored after a good season of cricket once again, all those past memories come back to your mind. And you cannot control the thoughts in your mind. It comes back to you even if you want to push it away.
"I am still optimistic to make it to the India ‘A’ squads. I am quick on the field, I can read the game well and I have the belief in me to make it to the teams. I also want to go strong like Ambati [Rayudu] and Suresh [Raina]. I know how to make it to the team, all I need is an opportunity. I want to make it to the India ‘A’ team, but not at the expense of another injured player. I want to make it on my own ability.”