IPL 2020: The journey of Rahul Tewatia, who stunned KXIP
Leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia's 53 off 31 deliveries helped Rajasthan Royals register the highest-ever chase in the IPL history. Tewatia, who was sent in at number four during the run-chase, struggled to even put bat on the ball at first. Little did he know that he will be hailed across the nation in a span of few deliveries. We take a look at his journey.
Tewatia made his First-class debut in 2013
Tewatia made his First-class debut in 2013 for Haryana against Karnataka. However, it turned out to be a forgettable outing for Tewatia, who remained wicketless and managed to score only 17 runs. His First-class career didn't really take off as he has played only seven games in as many as years. Meanwhile, Tewatia staged rather consistent performances in white-ball cricket.
His credentials in white-ball cricket
On his List A debut, Tewatia played a match-winning knock of 62 runs as Haryana chased 230 against Odisha. His all-round performance over the years has made him Haryana's prized possession. So far, he has taken 27 wickets and scored 484 runs from 21 List A games. In T20 cricket, he has claimed 33 scalps and aggregated 691 runs from 50 matches.
How he has fared in the IPL so far
Soon after making his First-class debut, Tewatia was acquired by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the IPL 2014. He could play mere three games that season. Although Kings XI Punjab picked him for the 2017 season, he didn't get enough matches. Tewatia then played for Delhi Capitals in the following two seasons before he returned to his first franchise, RR (2020).
Tewatia played a stellar knock against KXIP
After a number of unsteady stints in the IPL, Tewatia seems to have found his feet. His miraculous knock against his former franchise KXIP made him the toast of the town. Notably, Tewatia scored only eight runs off his first 19 balls. The next 12 balls made him score an astonishing 45 runs, that also included five sixes in an over of Sheldon Cottrell.
How he entered the record books
Tewatia became only the second cricketer to have smashed five sixes in an over, in the IPL. He achieved the milestone in the 18th over bowled by Cottrell. Notably, only Chris Gayle has done this before, in a game against Pune Warriors India (2012).
'I had the self-belief', said Tewatia after the game
The dejected Rahul Tewatia, who was targeted for his sluggish knock initially, silenced the critics in the second half. He single-handedly won the game, riding on his self-belief at Sharjah. "I think that was the worst 20 balls that I have ever played. I was hitting the ball very well in the nets so I had belief in myself and kept going," he said.