Swashbuckling all-rounder, Rahul Tewatia was awarded for his recent exploits in the shortest format with a maiden call-up to the national team as the BCCI named the Haryana player in the 19-man squad for the forthcoming 5-match T20I series against England in Ahmedabad.
While Tewatia doesn’t boast of any great first-class record, his white-ball domestic performance couple with a career-defining IPL last year for the Rajasthan Royals catapulted his name in the ranks.
In the T20 format, playing 68 matches, he averages 32.16 with the bat at a strike rate of 150.31 and bowls with an economy of 7.06. Rajasthan Royals won few matches on Rahul Tewatia’s individual brilliance last season; he had a batting average of 42.50 at a strike rate of 139.34 and 10 wickets at an economy of 7.09.
The left-handed batsman became an overnight sensation with his whirlwind knock against Kings XI Punjab – where he raced from 5 off 13 to 53 off 31 en route smashing Sheldon Cottrell for 5 sixes in an over.
My first reaction was that Chahal must be joking: Rahul Tewatia
Currently, Rahul Tewatia is playing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Haryana. On Saturday, he didn’t know that he has been selected for the England series – and it was his Haryana teammate and India leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal who informed him.
Since Harayana were to face Chandigarh on Sunday, Tewatia went early to bed. Chahal woke him up with the news of his selection. Tewatia, initially couldn’t believe it and thought Chahal was joking with him. But it was only until Chahal showed the news on his phone and another teammate Mohit Sharma informed the 27-year-old with the news that he let it sink in.
“Tera Indian Team mein selection hogaya hai,” (You have been picked for India),” Chahal told Tewatia.
“When Yuzi bhai (Chahal) informed me, my first reaction was that he must be joking. I never thought I would get picked now. Mohit (Sharma) bhaiya also came to my room to inform me,” Rahul Tewatia informed The Indian Express.
The southpaw has celebrated his India selection with a thunderous knock of 73 from 39 balls against Chandigarh on Sunday.
Along with Tewatia, the Mumbai Indians pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have also been given their maiden call-ups to the national side. Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma return to the T20 team while Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson are dropped after playing Australia.