Rahul Tewatia – The Six-Hitting Journeyman
In the future, whenever debates take place about what the Indian T20 League has done for the status of domestic cricket, the name of Rahul Tewatia and his magic moments will surely merit a mention. Through his initial 2 seasons with the Rajasthan team, a year with Punjab and 2 more seasons with the Delhi team, there had been few signs that Tewatia’s batting or his leg-spin had game-changing qualities. If anything, it was certainly his bowling that stood out.
Then with the league relocating to the UAE for the 2020 season and Tewatia back in Rajasthan’s colors, he had the sort of match that kids and scriptwriters dream about. His only over had gone for 19, and Rajasthan were set 224 to win by Punjab. Despite superb innings from Steve Smith and Sanju Samson, they were up against it.
Tewatia’s struggles soon attracted the attention of the trigger fingers on social media. At one stage, with the asking rate over 16, he was on 8 off 19 balls. He could barely hit the ball off the square, and the keyboard warriors were asking for him to be retired on compassionate grounds.
A six off Ravi Bishnoi gave him a boost, and then in one remarkable over, redemption arrived. Sheldon Cottrell isn’t as quick as he once was, but he’s still big enough and lively enough to hurry most batters. Tewatia carved him for 5 sixes in the 18th over of the chase. By the time he was out, after having smashed another 6 off Mohammed Shami, he had made 53 from 31 balls. Comebacks from the edge don’t come much sweeter.
That match proved the springboard for Tewatia’s best season in the competition, with his all-round displays prompting a call-up to the India squad for a T20 series against England. A failed fitness test cost him the chance to debut, but he remains a key part of Rajasthan’s plans as they chase a play-off spot in the 2021 season. And even if he never scales such heights again, he’ll always have that night in Sharjah, when a relatively unknown player from Haryana made the cricketing world’s jaw drop. Though he couldn’t make it to India’s squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup, hopefully he will get enough chances to showcase his skills at big events in the future.
Teams in the Indian T20 League hardly miss the chance to identify the inherent talent of a player. The newly introduced Gujarat team showed the way when they beat a host of other sides to buy Tewatia for an impressive ₹9 crores in the mega auction held in February 2022.
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Rahul Tewatia’s Personal Details
- Rahul Tewatia
- Date of Birth
- 20th May 1993
- Sihi, Haryana
- Batting Style
- Left-handed batter
- Playing Role
- Right-arm bowling all-rounder
- Current Team
- Gujarat team
- Jersey Number
Rahul Tewatia’s Current Rankings
Rahul Tewatia - Key Skills and Strengths
His call-up to the India squad earlier in 2021 owed much to his Indian T20 League displays in 2020. As in 2017, when a tidy spell for Punjab flummoxed a strong Kolkata team, Tewatia has made a habit of saving his best for the strongest sides. In the 2020 competition, he took 3 wickets against Chennai while showing tremendous composure. Shane Watson, one of the most experienced players in the league, was bowled by a googly, and Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad were later stumped off successive balls in an over that had seen him thumped for 2 sixes. With the bat, there are few frills, with the philosophy primarily being one of see-ball-hit-ball.
Rahul Tewatia’s Indian T20 League Journey
Four matches with Team Rajasthan in 2014-15 and three with Punjab in 2017, there was nothing in Tewatia’s record to suggest that he was worth the ₹3 crore that Delhi splurged on him at the Indian T20 League auction in 2018. In his 13 games for Delhi across 2 seasons, he scored just 76 runs and took 8 wickets. Unflattering numbers but then Rajasthan paid another ₹3 crore to take him back in 2020, and his career really took off, with 255 runs and 10 wickets. He will be wearing the Gujarat jersey this year after being bought by them for ₹9 crores.
Here are some of his notable achievements in the Indian T20 League:
He is one of only three players – Chris Gayle and Ravindra Jadeja are the others – to have hit 5 sixes in an over in the Indian T20 League.
Those 5 sixes off Sheldon Cottrell helped pull off the biggest run chase in the league’s history, as Rajasthan achieved the target of 224 against Punjab.
- Indian T20 League
- 53 vs Punjab
Rahul Tewatia: FAQs
Gautam Gambhir, who captained him for a season with the Delhi team.
Roger Federer, the Swiss tennis great.
Brad Hogg, who once played in the Indian T20 League for Rajasthan and Kolkata, suggested that Tewatia wouldn’t get another opportunity.
He got engaged to Ridhi Pannu in February 2021.