Renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar expressed that he was chuffed to see Rahul Tewatia succeed and claimed that the range of hitting the southpaw showcased on Sunday proved that he’s an adaptable batsman. Chasing 159, Tewatia dismantled Rashid Khan to hand RR their third win of the season.
Far too often, heroes in the Indian Premier League go down as ‘one match wonders’ but on Sunday in Dubai, Rahul Tewatia ensured that he was not going to let ‘that’ knock in Sharjah define his career. Chasing 159 on an extremely sluggish Dubai wicket, Rajasthan Royals looked dead and buried when Tewatia walked to the crease with the score 78/5 in the 13th over but, like he did a fortnight ago, the all-rounder, despite the odds stacked against him and his side, refused to give up.
Together with young Riyan Parag, he took the chase deep and with RR needing 36 off the final three, Tewatia decided to cut-loose. In what was a scarcely believable onslaught, the southpaw dismantled SRH’s trump card, Rashid Khan, in the 18th over, and struck a hat-trick of boundaries to all but kill the chase. While it was the mid-wicket slogs that worked for him in Sharjah, here in Dubai, it was the reverse-sweeps and cover-drives that punctured the opposition. Eventually, the 27-year-old finished on 45* to help RR script a famous victory.
There was much to admire in Tewatia’s knock but according to renowned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, what stood out was the left-hander’s adaptability. Manjrekar described the 27-year-old as a ‘match winner’ and noted how on Sunday, Tewatia cleverly used the off-side to his advantage in contrast to the Sharjah knock, where everything was an on-side hoick.
“I’m so happy for Tewatia. After that ‘IPL Event’ when he turned it around after being down in the dumps, good to see him continue with the confidence he got from that match-winning performance. This was not quite the dramatic turnaround, but it shows that this guy can use confidence and serve his team - not just in one game, but more than a game or two,” Manjrekar said on ESPN Cricinfo’s ‘T20 Time-out’.
“He bowled his four overs, his body language changed and the adaptation I saw today was that the last time he hit Cottrell, everytime was leg-side but this time he took on Rashid Khan and everything was on the off-side. So this is a guy who can reinvent himself and play the match-winning innings.”
It is not just Tewatia’s batting that has stood out as since the Sharjah knock, the all-rounder has also taken his bowling and fielding to the next level. In fact, it was only a few days ago that he bowled an exceptional spell of 1/20 in Sharjah to strangle the Delhi batsmen. Manjrekar observed how Tewatia’s success story is proof for the fact that confidence can elevate a human being to the greatest of heights.
“The great learning from Tewatia’s resurgence is what confidence can do to a person - in life and in sport. In sport, it's visible and in T20 cricket, it's even more dramatic.”