Kona Kona Cricket Articles

9th October 2020

Rahul Tewatia - Rajasthan Royals’ villain-turned-hero

"Hoping 2020 does a Rahul Tewatia", reads Rajasthan Royals’ new bio on Twitter. The bio was updated after the Royals beat Kings XI Punjab on September 27, courtesy an unbelievable innings from Rahul Tewatia.

The Kings XI put up a mammoth total of 223 runs on the board at the small Sharjah ground. Batting at no. 3 for the Royals, Tewatia scored a quickfire 31-ball 53. But what stood out in his knock was the manner in which it progressed. Of the first 23 deliveries that the all-rounder from Haryana faced, he could muster only 17 runs. With the asking run-rate increasing, Twitter demanded that Tewatia give away his wicket to make way for the next batsman. But what unfolded in the next eight deliveries was record-breaking.

The southpaw hit 36 runs off the next eight balls, including five sixes in a single over. The villain-turned-hero fell to Mohammed Shami in the 19th over, before Sam Curran and Jofra Archer finished the job.

Tewatia became only the second player after Chris Gayle to hit five sixes in an over in the Indian T20 League, while the Royals recorded the biggest chase in the league’s history.

The all-rounder made his IPL debut in 2014 for the Rajasthan Royals, and it was reportedly Rahul Dravid who had spotted his talent. Dravid, the then coach of the Royals, scouted Tewatia at the Karnataka State Cricket Association in a game between Karnataka and Haryana.

Tewatia, however, remained lesser known until he played for Kings XI Punjab in 2017 when he picked up three wickets.

He was then bought by Delhi Capitals in 2018 and in the two seasons with them, the leg-break bowler picked up eight wickets from 13 games.  Ahead of the 2020 season, Tewatia was traded to the Royals from the Delhi franchise.

It is only this season that his batting skills have come to the fore. Besides taking four wickets in four games this season, Tewatia has also scored 101 runs, including the half-century.

Born in Sihi, Haryana, Tewatia comes from a family of sportspersons. While his grandfather was a wrestler, his uncle was a hockey player. Rahul, however, ventured into cricket and debuted in the Ranji Trophy for his home state in 2013. While his batting stats in first-class cricket - 190 runs in seven matches - are mediocre, his bowling stat of 17 wickets is impressive.

Tewatia has also played 21 List A games from which he has 27 wickets and 484 runs. In T20s, he has 34 wickets and 729 runs from 52 games.

"Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you're about to give up hope," the cricketer had tweeted in 2017. And it did, on one fine night in September 2020, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

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Disclaimer: This editorial content has been sourced from HoldingWilley