A struggle and lots of pressure were what a pinch-hitter faced before a thirty run over made him one of the most talked-about finishers in the IPL.
Rahul Tewatia is a 27-year-old cricketer from Faridabad.
He started his domestic career in 2013 for Haryana.
His domestic career has been a silent one as an all-rounder as he is still unable to find a consistent place in the side.
He started with the Royals in 2014 and went onto represent two more teams as his career went on.
He played for Kings XI Punjab and later the Delhi Capitals, where Rahul Tewatia set a record for most catches in a match by a non-wicketkeeper.
His IPL career was as silent as his domestic one as he could do not have any performances to make an impact on his captain and coach.
Rahul Tewatia was relatively unknown, with many cricketing followers not having heard of him.
Rahul Tewatia is a leg-break bowler who bats left-handed and is a clean striker of the ball.
Tewatia gained some attention this season in Royal’s first game against the Super Kings.
He picked up three wickets on a fresh Sharjah pitch and his style of celebration in that match attracted some attention.
The famous game against Punjab is what bought Tewatia into the limelight.
He was sent in as a pinch-hitter to take on Punjab’s spinners in the middle overs.
Chasing 224, Tewatia was eight of 20 while Samson was going very well at the other end.
Tewatia’s struggle frustrated Samson to the extent of him rejecting doubles on offer so he stays on strike.
While the act may have hurt Tewatia’s confidence, it was necessary as the required rate was climbing.
The pressure was eventually too much for Samson as he was out for 85, diminishing Royal’s hopes.
The cameras were all on Tewatia, and by the 17th over Tewatia’s struggle would have been all over social media.
With many watching from their home, Tewatia would have been under a lot of pressure during his tough innings.
Rahul Tewatia however, didn’t give up. He showed amazing character to convert terrible innings into a match-winning one.
Rahul Tewatia hit five sixes off Sheldon Cottrell in an over that made him an instant hero.
He continued his assault and was out in the 19th over after taking the Royals very close.
The Royals eventually won with Tewatia making 53 and hitting seven sixes during his innings.
The innings made Rahul Tewatia one of the most discussed cricketers in the IPL.
He gained confidence due to his performance and ensured that his form remained the same throughout the tournament.
He chipped in with some crucial runs towards the end of the innings and took up the role of a finisher for the Rajasthan Royals.
He also played a few smart innings like the one against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Chasing 159, the Royals were in deep trouble at 5-78. Rahul Tewatia along with Riyan Parag combined to chase down the target and keep the Royals relevant in the table.
Tewatia played smartly throughout the innings, taking the game deep and picking the right bowlers.
He hit three boundaries off Rashid Khan which surprised many people as well.
His innings pushed him further up the ladder of finishers in the IPL after announcing himself as a finisher against Punjab.
While Rahul Tewatia has surprised with the bat, he has also done a good job with his leg-spin this season.
He is one of the few players to score 250+ runs and take ten wickets this season.
His consistency has also made him a contender for the MVP award which is surprising as nobody would have expected Rahul Tewatia to do so.
He has surely made his presence felt in IPL 2020 and will have a bigger impact not only in IPL 2021 but also in the domestic season that may take place over the next year.
His breakthrough season is likely to grab the gaze of many and hopefully, Rahul Tewatia can make use of his efforts this season.
Rahul Tewatia’s performance is also a perfect example of how IPL helps local talent be noticed.
He along with bowlers like T Natarajan and Varun Chakravarthy used the IPL well to showcase their talent on a massive platform, which is what the IPL is definitely about.
Though he has had a silent career, he will surely be remembered and remain in the minds of many cricket fans.