New Delhi: From the moment Kolkata Knight Riders won the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League till the time they took the field in the sixth edition, any time Gautam Gambhir was asked to reveal the secret to the team’s success, his standard answer would be ‘team bonding’. And yet, poor performances in this edition once again put the spotlight back on issues within the team — synonymous with KKR since the inception of the IPL.
Manoj Tiwary, who supposedly had a fall-out with the team management this season and barely did anything of note, said skipper Gambhir could have utilised him better.
“Gambhir bhai could have handled me better. I was given a few opportunities at the top of the order, but I wasn’t shown the faith and wasn’t persisted with like a couple of other players in the outfit were,” Tiwary told MAIL TODAY. While Tiwary refused to take names, it is very clear that the management gave a much longer rope to Manvinder Bisla — 255 runs in 14 matches — and Yusuf Pathan — 332 runs in 16 matches — at the top of the batting- order.
KKR put up brave face after Tiwary outburst
“Also, I feel that my leg-spin could have really helped the team as the Eden Gardens wicket is known to help spin bowlers. The last time I bowled for KKR — in the Champions League in South Africa — I had picked two wickets. So I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t contribute in India. But he’s the captain, and obviously he would know better.”
While the management has time and again refuted rumours that all is not well within the camp, Tiwary — part of the outfit since 2010 — said he felt there were communication issues within the team and the bonding formed in 2012 went for a toss.
“We bonded well last season with Gambhir leading from the front. Even the atmosphere was really chilled out. Joining the team in 2010, after two seasons with Delhi Daredevils, for the first time last year I felt that the team was bonding and we were like a family. But all that changed this year. I could see a clear case of miscommunication and barriers cropping up between players,” Tiwary said.
“I don’t really know if this affected our performance or if it has come to the forefront because the team didn’t do well, but all I can say is that the bonding that we have all been proud of was clearly missing this year. Now I don’t want to talk about what exactly happened inside the team, but I wish that we carried on from where we left in 2012.”
He feels not being in the right frame of mind affected his performance.
“I have done well for the team in the past and a lot is expected of me. But when you aren’t in the correct frame of mind and you aren’t made to feel integral to the team’s cause, your performance does tend to suffer,” he said.
“As I have mentioned earlier, the warmth was missing within the camp. Honestly, we were no longer the family that we were proud of being in the fifth edition. It seemed like success had gone to a couple of players’ heads and they felt they could steer the boat alone.”
Even as there was news that Tiwary was miffed with the management for dropping him ahead of the game against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, Tiwary says if the decision was performance-based, he would have had no issues.
“I have always been a team player and have always tried to play according to the team’s demands. But when I was dropped against Mumbai, I was hurt. If someone playing better than me is picked, I have no issues. On the contrary, I would happily sit out, but cricketing abilities alone should be the yardstick for selection,” he said.
Tiwary was alluding to Debabrata Das, who got 10 matches but made just 75 runs, illustrating just why Tiwary was irritated at having been left out of the 15-man squad.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.