Rahul Tewatia’s match-winning exploits against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has already made him a household name. After facing the “worst 20 balls” of his life, the leggie turned the game on its head by smashing Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over.
The 27-year-old struggled to get going in the beginning, scoring just 16 of the first 23 balls he played. He, however, turned into a different beast in his last eight balls, smashing six sixes and scoring 36 runs. It was his innings that propelled RR to an improbable victory.
Later on, when RR skipper Steve Smith was asked about the rationale behind promoting Tewatia up the order, he said: “What we have seen from Tewatia in the nets is what we saw in that Cottrell’s over. I told someone as along as he gets one, floodgates will open. He showed heart. He told me during the timeout we still believe.”
Tewatia wants ‘a pat on the back’: Ponting
Tewatia has been playing the tournament for five years, but he rarely produced something that grabbed everyone’s attention. In star-studded franchises, he was just another brick in the wall.
Last year, the leg-spinner represented Delhi Capitals (DC) where he struggled to get more game-time.
In one of the few matches he played, Tewatia grabbed four catches, for which he wanted some sort of recognition from DC’s head coach Ricky Ponting.
Ponting had introduced a new tradition where he used to commend every little effort from the players that gets unnoticed. Pant scored a magnificent 27-ball 78 that already won many accolades, so Ponting lauded Colin Ingram for his quickfire 47 in the dressing room. Similarly, he acknowledged the contribution from the pace battery consisting of Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada.
As Ponting started trudging back after the debriefing, Tewatia interrupted his strides and posed a pertinent question. The latter reminded that he missed the name of a certain player who grabbed four catches.
“Boys Tewatia took four catches and wants a pat on the back,” Ponting hilariously declares in the dressing room.
Axar Patel too echoes the same sentiment and takes a jibe at Tewatia for seeking recognition.
“Bhai aise kaun kahta hai (who says things like that),” asks Axar.
To which Tewatia replied that it’s okay to fight for what one owns. “Apne haq ke liye ladenge (I will fight for what I am owed),” Tewatia replied.