Southampton: By Monday evening, Manoj Tiwary had taken two domestic flights in little more than a day, and was faced with a long-haul journey to London. Still, he was anything but exhausted. On Sunday Tiwary left for his home town of Kolkata from Bangalore after his BCCI Corporate Trophy match was rained out. He had already heard about Rohit Sharma fracturing his right index finger the previous evening. He sensed he had a chance. The call from the BCCI official came late afternoon, informing him that he was booked on a Monday evening flight from Mumbai to join the Indian squad.
With Sachin Tendulkar being ruled out of the series on Monday, a development which caught even the Indian squad by surprise, there were strong indications from the Indian camp of Tiwary being rushed from Heathrow airport on Monday straight to Southampton to play the match. It might seem cruel on the player but with only six specialist batsmen left in the squad India don't really have much of a choice other than playing five bowlers and going a batsman light.
Nevertheless Tiwary is no stranger to being dashed across continents to join the team at the very last minute. In the 2008 CB Series in Australia, Yuvraj Singh was forced to return home due to knee injury and Tiwary was called in as reinforcement. He reached Brisbane less than 48 hours before the match against Australia, and walked in to face Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson with barely a day's break. It was his debut. The jet lag was evident as he was bowled by a searing Lee yorker for 2.