Rahul Tewatia: People began expecting more from me after my knock vs Punjab in 2020, want to learn mystery deliveries from Rashid Khan at GT, says Rahul Tewatia | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Rahul Tewatia first shot to fame in IPL 2020 when he played one of the best cameos in IPL history to help Rajasthan Royals chase down a record 224 against Kings XI Punjab.
Rajasthan needed an improbable 51 runs to win in the last 18 deliveries. And Tewatia hit 5 sixes in the 18th over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell to equal the record for the most number of sixes hit in one over in the history of the IPL. A record that was earlier held solely by Chris Gayle.
Tewatia couldn’t finish off the win himself, falling to Mohammed Shami in the 19th over; but his 31-ball-53-run knock, which included as many as 7 sixes, completely swung the momentum Rajasthan’s way, before Jofra Archer and Tom Curran finished the job to take the 2008 champions to a 4-wicket win.
The 28-year-old from Haryana has moved across teams quite a bit. He made his IPL debut in 2014 for the Rajasthan Royals, but was then traded to Kings XI Punjab. He played next in the IPL in 2017, was then traded to Delhi Capitals in 2018 and was then traded back to Rajasthan Royals.
In the 2022 auction, Tewatia was bought by one of the two new teams Gujarat Titans for a whopping Rs 9 crore.

Tewatia talked to TimesofIndia.com recently about his preparation for the 2022 IPL season and how he will be looking to pick up a few tricks of the trade from Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
Excerpts:
What was your initial impression of Gujarat Titans and what are you looking forward to the most?
They have shown trust in me and picked me in their new team. With every team the motto is the same: win the trophy, it’s the same here. We will work hard match-by-match and concentrate on the process.
Do you think the price tag pressure might affect you or will you overall benefit from your experience of sharing the dressing room with star players and perform better by virtue of that?
The team has shown belief in me and I will try to give my best, will keep working hard and whatever role I get, I will give my best shot.

What would you want to learn from your captain Hardik Pandya?
Everyone is aware of Hardik’s abilities, he has been playing successfully for India and in the IPL, so I will talk to him about his mindset in tricky situations.
Do you think that Gujarat Titans have the firepower to go all the way and win the IPL title?
Sure, we have experienced players, young players from top to bottom. We have a nice team balance and we will ensure that we have a good tournament.

Apart from Hardik Pandya, name the one player with whom you are looking forward to sharing the dressing room and why?
We are one team, one family, and have to gel together with all, so I am eager to share the dressing room with all other players. I have shared the dressing room with many players of other teams, but I will be sharing the dressing room for the first time with Rashid Khan. I will be playing with him for the first time, so I’m looking forward to that eagerly.

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Rashid Khan and Hardik Pandya during a Gujarat Titans practice session at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. (IPL/PTI Photo)
Rashid Khan is one of the best bowlers in the shortest format. What would you like to learn from him and add in your armoury so that you become a more attacking bowler?
Each player has his own strengths and skills and as far as learning is concerned, I try to learn from each and every cricketer. And Rashid Khan is a mystery bowler, so will try to learn some mystery deliveries from him.

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Rashid Khan and Hardik Pandya during a Gujarat Titans practice session at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. (IPL/PTI Photo)
You had played that famous knock against Punjab in the IPL. Have you been under pressure since then to replicate that knock, has there been added responsibility on your shoulders after that innings because the whole world found out about your capabilities post that?
Responsibility was there earlier also. But expectations have increased after that knock. But it is good that people expect me to do well for the side as it motivates me to play well and tackle the situation to the best of my abilities. So it motivates me, hence no pressure.
Do you think that the new format with 10 teams will make the IPL more interesting?
Yes, it does sound interesting.



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