I will always cherish two sixes off the final two balls, says Gujarat all-rounder Rahul Tewatia
Flamboyant all-rounder Rahul Tewatia has been in the limelight ever since he smashed five sixes off former Punjab bowler Sheldon Cottrell in the 18th over of an Indian T20 League match while playing for Rajasthan in Sharjah in 2020.
The southpaw scored 53 off 31 balls to help Rajasthan chase down a mammoth score of 224, which became the highest run chase in the history of Indian T20 League.
Tewatia has once again been in scintillating form for his new franchise Gujarat in the ongoing edition of Indian T20 League.
The star all-rounder clobbered two sixes off the final two deliveries of Punjab pacer Odean Smith to help the newcomers chase down 190 at the Brabourne Stadium. He later followed it up by forging a 49-run partnership with Rashid Khan to help Gujarat chase down 196 against Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium. Interestingly, the duo smashed 25 off Marco Jansen in the final over of the match to secure a five-wicket victory for Gujarat.
Having been acquired by Gujarat for a whopping INR 9 crore in the Indian T20 League mega auction, Tewatia has completely justified his price tag by playing match-winning knocks.
The left-hander has amassed 136 runs in eight matches at an impressive strike rate of 158.14 while also maintaining a decent average of 34.
In an exclusive chat with SportsAdda, Tewatia shared his thoughts regarding the close matches against Punjab and Hyderabad while also revealing the success mantra of Gujarat in Indian T20 League 2022.
- You have made it a habit of finishing close matches. How are you able to do it?
Rahul Tewatia: Firstly, match simulation at practice is a big part of my training regime. That helps you improve your skills and pick your opportunities to score. Secondly, when the captain and coaching staff show faith in your abilities, you get more confidence, which translates into performance.
- What is the secret to finishing such close matches?
Rahul Tewatia: There is no secret as such. It is crucial you back yourself in those situations and believe you can do it. When the opportunities present themselves, you must capitalise on them.
- Two sixes in two balls or 22 runs in the final over. Which finish was more enjoyable?
Rahul Tewatia: It is difficult to pick one as both are very close to my heart. The two sixes off the last two balls were extremely memorable and one that I will always cherish. When we were chasing 22 off the final over, just the whole moment with Rashid is something to remember.
- What was the discussion between you and Rashid Khan during the final over?
Rahul Tewatia: We backed ourselves to do it. We saw how runs were being scored on that pitch and realised that if we backed ourselves, we could do it. The main discussion between us was that it was possible to overhaul the 22 runs needed off the final over.
- Gujarat have been on a roll. What is the team doing right?
Rahul Tewatia: The great thing about our team is that different players have put their hands up and performed at different points in time. This shows how confident the unit is and how each player is ready to rise to the challenge whenever it comes his way.
- How is the experience of playing under captain Hardik?
Rahul Tewatia: Hardik has been very relaxed as a captain and has led the team exceptionally well. He has led from the front by example with some great performances, which automatically inspires the rest of the group. As a leader off the field, he has also devoted time to building a positive culture, which has been extremely important for our success so far.
Author: Sandilya Garimella
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Featured photo: Gujarat Titans