'We are better prepared'

'We are better prepared'

'We are better prepared'

Kolkata Knight Riders may have lost their match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore but the morale of the defending champions has not dampened.

They are having their own kind of fun as well. The night before the big day, the members of the team were spotted walking down the ramp with models and one among them was Manoj Tiwari, a batsman for KKR.

Nicknamed as Chota Dada by the team, Manoj tells Metrolife that the teammates share a close bond.

 “Last season was definitely great for KKR especially with the win but that doesn’t mean we take it easy this year. We are better prepared and ready for the season more than ever before,” he adds.

Interestingly, this cricketer has a strong connect with the City. Having dealt with many injuries in the past, the cricketer says he comes to the City for rehabilitation.

   “The City is known to have some of the best rehabilitation centres. Also, one cannot complain about the weather. It’s always been so pleasant and welcoming,” he adds.

Probe him a bit more about the injuries that he has suffered and Manoj shrugs and says, “I don’t know why but injuries have always followed me. But through all this, I have tried to stay positive and it has worked.”

Being part of KKR also means being in the presence of Shah Rukh Khan. Manoj says that Shah Rukh Khan has been one of the best team owners.

 “SRK has always ensured that he keeps time aside to interact with the team. He also tells us that it’s not always about winning,” he says.

As a passionate cricketer, Manoj has always looked up to the veterans in the sport. And during the IPL, he has not only got the chance to play with many international players but also interact with them. “The IPL is a great format, especially for youngsters like us, as we get to play alongside the legends of the game and at the same time, learn from their experiences,” he states.

What he has also observed is how familiar many of the international players are with the Indian culture.

“The familiarity is there as they have been coming here for many years now.
But then again, they are very keen to know about the culture here. They don’t hesitate in trying out the food and they even ask us to teach them Hindi,” he adds.

Having won the cup last year, Manoj says that there is no denying that there are huge expectations riding on the team. “But we are staying positive and going to give it our best,” he sums up.

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