Hyderabad: Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia, who became an overnight sensation with his blitzkrieg against Kings XI Punjab, was back in the limelight with a stunning show with the willow as he steered his team to a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL match in Dubai on Sunday. The left-hander had made the headlines with his big-hitting spree against Kings XI Punjab left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in one over.
Tewatia showed that there was no fluke on Sunday. Having lost half of the side for just 78 runs in 12 overs in chase of 164, Tewatia hit an unbeaten 45 from 28 deliveries to guide his side home in the company of Riyan Parag (42 off 26). Speaking after the match, he revealed that the plan was to take the match as deep as possible. “When I was at the crease, we needed around 75 runs. Our plan was to stay at the wicket and take the match as deep as possible. We knew we can take on the bowlers in the final three or four overs if we are set. That was the talk with Parag as well.”
The match turned in RR’s favour after both smashed Sandeep Sharma for 18 runs in the 17th over and then Tewatia then hit leg spinner Rashid Khan for 14 runs in the next over. “I just backed myself. I have decided to go for my shots if the ball was in my area. Since the required run rate was high, there was no option,” he explained.
He also backed the top order which is under fire for lack of consistency. “We know the top order is struggling. But they are world class players. When they fail, the pressure will be there on middle-order. Our management trusts us and we have to deliver to make amends. The management knew we can bat big and we have done that in practice matches. We just had to implement that in the match,” he revealed. When asked about sending Ben Stokes, who played his first game of the season, he said the call was taken by management.
Meanwhile, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s coach Trevor Bayliss looked at the positives from the loss and said they can improve and work on the negatives from this game. “We definitely liked to have more runs on the board. But the boys said the ball was not coming onto the bat and the wicket had slowed down. So they batted pretty well to reach 160. Any loss is difficult from a good position. But there were a lot of good things. We will concentrate on positives and work on our negative for the next game,” he said.
He also lauded T Natarajan who bowled the maximum number of yorkers in the tournament so far. “It comes naturally to him. He is also good enough to pick up wickets as well. He has been a great advantage for us this season and he has a good future.”
When asked whether the team was complacent after taking five wickets, he said, “I don’t think we were complacent. But they (Tewatia and Parag) batted well in the end. We failed to execute our plans perfectly. Three, four overs went for runs in the end. We could have taken time to bowl and saved a few boundaries.”
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