Rajasthan Royals‘ batting-allrounder Rahul Tewatia’s extraordinary display of hitting helped his team chase down a record-breaking total of 224 against Kings XI Punjab. Tewatia smashed seven sixes in his inning including five of Sheldon Cotrell’s 18th over.
The 27-year-old who was seen struggling initially, suddenly got his confidence back and went on turn the match on its head single-handedly. The late surge from his willow sealed the match for the Royals with three balls to spare.
Speaking about the heroic act, Tewatia said that he continued to believe in himself despite finding it difficult to connect early on. He was sure that a game-changing over would come.
“I was looking at the run rate and wanted the scoreboard ticking as per the required run rate. Initially, I was not able to hit the ball properly but I was confident that I would switch gears quickly. I wanted to take my team close to the game and win. I was confident of a win. And, that’s what happened. The game-changing over eventually came,” Tewatia said.
The Haryana lad went on to add that his plan was to hit six or seven sixes in the last three or four overs. He never doubted his abilities.
“I hit him for a six and the rest of the sixes kept coming. That was a game-changing over. I knew that I couldn’t hit for the first 15 to 20 balls, but I was confident that if I manage to hit 6 or 7 sixes in the last 3 or 4 overs, then it can turn the match around. That was the plan.”
“When I was not able to hit, I was under pressure, but Sanju (Samson) told me that it’s a matter of one hit and I was waiting for that one hit.”
Tewatia was asked to go in at number 4 when his team had a huge required run rate. Steve Smith believed in Tewatia’s ability to hit the ball and the hard-hitting left-hander did not disappoint his captain.
“When Steve Smith asked me to bat at the number 4 spot, it was a big-time opportunity for me. I wanted to give my best. I went in with a ‘go and take on the bowler’ mindset. Smith told me at this level one requires mental toughness. Smith and the coach were always confident of my abilities.” he concluded.
The Rajasthan Royals will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in their next game at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.