Rahul Tewatia: 'In 2018, I Decided I Have To Play Like I'm The Team's Main Player'

The last time Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off an unlikely victory in the IPL, many people stated that Rinku Singh "did a Rahul Tewatia " by hitting five sixes to beat the defending champions, the Gujarat Titans.

For those unfamiliar, Rahul Tewatia's name has become a verb thanks to Rahul Tewatia IPL innings in 2020 for Rajasthan Royals against Kings XI Punjab, in which he went from 8 off 19 balls to blasting five sixes and turning the game on its head.

Do you know about Rahul Tewatia latest news? After nearly three years in the IPL, Tewatia, now with Titans, has become an effective finisher. A bespectacled Tewatia talks about his rise from rural Haryana, where he played cricket on the streets, to becoming one of the most reliable lower-order batters in the IPL in this interview from the Titans' team hotel in Ahmedabad last month, the day after he had scored a five-ball 20 to help his side get to a match-winning 207 against Mumbai Indians.

As the hour-long conversation in Hindi ended, Tewatia revealed he had never shared so much about his life as a cricket player.

Can you elaborate on the requirements for a home-grown athlete to make it to the big leagues?

What did Rahul Tewatia say? It's not healthy to dwell on or seek pity for the challenges and selection from an age-group level that any athlete must endure. It's all in a day's work. The level of competitiveness was high. [Yuzvendra] Chahal and Jayant [Yadav] were already a part of the team [as spinners] when I came to play Under-15s [in 2004-05 for Haryana]. Also, I wasn't hitting like I do now. Even though I made the squad as a leg spinner, I could only play in a few games in my first year. The following year, I got to play the entire season because Chahal and Jayant had advanced to the next level. I was part of the National Cricket Academy's U15 age group talent pool after taking 31 wickets in five matches.

Being originally from the Haryana town of Sihi, Rahul Tewatia was unaware of the existence of the NCA. When he was young, he used to watch Indian football on TV and say things like, "Yaar, I also want to play for India one day." But he lacked the knowledge to figure out how to get there. He could not hide that he was shocked to see how far ahead the cricketers were from other states, like Mumbai and Karnataka, when he visited the NCA. The way of life these individuals were leading was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

They started focusing on their diet and training regimen during their U-15 years. He didn't remember the last time he went to the gym, perhaps not even once. He used to think regular gym time would make you less flexible and ultimately render you incapable of playing sports. During that period, such was the norm in Haryana.

When Rahul Tewatia first went to the gym at the NCA, he was shocked at how professional everyone else looked. That was one of his first lessons. After some thought, he concluded it was insufficient to hone just his cricketing abilities. He also needs to focus on things like being in shape.

The Indian Premier League has treated Rahul Tewatia as an all-rounder for quite some time. He has represented Haryana locally and played in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, and Gujarat Titans. Rahul Tewatia is an extremely dangerous batsman and leg spinner who prefers to give his balls more flight than most.

Is Rahul Tewatia playing for India?
In 2021, he played his first national team game after being selected to play in India's home T20 series against England.
What is the strike rate of Rahul Tewatia?
Tewatia’s strike rate is 147.62%, and his average was 31.00.
What did Rahul Tewatia's family want him to do?
Rahul's grandfather wanted him to become a wrestler like himself, while his uncle wanted him to train in Hockey.