Rahul Tewatia turned the Rajasthan Royals’ chase and his own innings around in utterly dramatic fashion against the Kings XI Punjab, going from 8 off 19 balls to finish on 53 off 31, with as many as seven sixes of which five came in the 18th over against Sheldon Cottrell. The result? The Royals sealing the biggest chase ever in the IPL with three balls to spare. Here’s what Tewatia and his captain Steven Smith said after the match, to the host broadcaster Star Sports:
How were you feeling at the halfway point in your innings when you couldn’t really get it out of the middle?
Tewatia: I think that was the worst 20 balls that I have ever played. After that – I was hitting the ball very well in the nets so I had belief in myself and kept going.
What about mental strength? You were 8 off 19 and turned it around. How did you stay positive and strong?
I was not hitting the ball well initially. Then I saw in the dugout, everybody was curious because they know that I can hit the ball long. At once, I thought “I have to believe in myself”. It was a matter of just one six, and after that I thought now it’s time to get going. Five [sixes] in the [18th] over felt amazing.
Cottrell was the over for you…
Well, the coach (Andrew McDonald) told me to hit sixes off the legspinner (Ravi Bishnoi) but unfortunately I didn’t hit him. So I had to hit the other bowler so that we could win or get closer to the target.
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Steven Smith at the presentation:
That was some chase wasn’t it?
Yeah, I thought we were getting a bit behind over there, and then Tewatia, wow! That was a nice little display, that over of Cottrell. It sort of pulled things back, well, gave us a chance again. What an amazing game.
When Tewatia was 5 from 13, we were questioning the decision [to promote him to No. 4]. Whose decision was it and what have you guys, or Andrew McDonald, seen from him in the nets that prompted that promotion?
What we’ve seen from him in the nets is what we saw off Sheldon Cottrell’s over, where he’s just been hitting the ball in the middle, and hitting the ball a long way. Obviously it was a bit of a scratchy start, he couldn’t quite get it out of the screws. But I actually said to (coach Andrew McDonald), that once he gets one away I think it might just get the floodgates open. Sort of proved to be the case. He kept himself in there. I think Sanju [Samson] said to him at one point, ‘Run down the wicket and try to hit it as far as you can, and see what happens’ (laughs). But credit to him, he stuck through it. Yeah, [he showed some heart], he did. He told me just before actually that ‘I still believed I could hit three sixes off [Mohammed] Shami and three off Cottrell and we’ll get us in the game.’ I said, ‘mate that’s great self-belief’ and that’s what we want to see. Credit to him, he did a terrific job in the end.
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