Rahul Tewatia: The all-rounder from Rajasthan Royals played yet another match-winning knock loaded with entertainment.
Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Rahul Tewatia had played 22 Indian Premier League matches for three teams from 2014-19. However, it took him a couple of match-winning innings while chasing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 to announce his reputation of a “finisher”.
Tewatia, who made his IPL debut for Royals in 2014, owes it to the circle of life which brought him back to the franchise after spending a couple of seasons for them in 2014-15.
Having pulled off an astounding victory against Kings XI Punjab, Tewatia proved as to why the same wasn’t a fluke with his 45* (28) against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai. While this match didn’t require him to score five sixes in an over, him attacking the likes of Rashid Khan and T. Natarajan spoke highly about his capability.
“This [finisher] was the role given to me and it was clear from a long time. I was batting well for a while and I was confident and was hitting them well when we played practice games. So it’s easy when you know your role.
#Tewatia = __________.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 11, 2020
“The wickets were falling so I just wanted to hold one end up and wait for the boundary balls. I knew if I keep my self-belief and take it deep, I could pull it off,” Tewatia said during the post-match presentation ceremony after his match-winning 85-run partnership alongside Riyan Parag.
Rahul Tewatia plays down animated discussion with Khaleel Ahmed in IPL 2020
Chasing a 159-run target, Royals struggled for most part of their innings which comprised of them losing wickets and scoring at a paltry run rate. With Sunrisers looking set to defend the total, Tewatia joined hands with Parag to stitch a fantabulous comeback to impress one and all yet again this season.
Being asked about his conversation with the 18-year old player, Tewatia opened up on having confidence to seal the chase especially in the slog overs.
“I told Riyan [Parag] that the wicket was playing slow and the deeper we take it, the better our chances, even if we needed 50 off the last 4 [overs] because we have the shots.
“Riyan asked me what to do – I told him to respect the good balls and take singles, and I could take on the attack. Against Rashid [Khan] I saw the opportunity to play the reverse sweep and took it,” Tewatia added.
Needing eight runs to win off the last Khaleel Ahmed bowler, Tewatia and Parag never gave the impression of doing anything silly to hamper their hard work. The nerve-wracking last over which saw them winning the match with a ball to spare also involved an animated discussion between Tewatia and Ahmed.
“No big deal. We just got taken away in the heat of the moment,” Tewatia played down the incident which went on to continue even after the match finished. After Parag’s winning six, Sunrisers players including captain David Warner was seen having a word with Tewatia.