Can Tewatia be Gujarat’s reliable finisher?
The Gujarat Titans have made a solid start to their debut campaign in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). Under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, GT have won three of their four matches so far. They are currently placed fifth on the league table.
Before the start of the season, several cricket experts had expressed their reservations about the squad assembled by GT. They were largely labeled as a bowling-heavy side with limited batting power.
However, in their first four matches, GT have done well with the bat.
One player who has been crucial to their batting success so far is all-rounder Rahul Tewatia. The former Rajasthan Royals star has already played two match-winning knocks with the bat against Lucknow Super Giants and Punjab Kings.
Going forward, GT will depend on Tewatia a lot more. Here are three reasons why the former RR all-rounder can be a dependable finisher for Gujarat.
#3 Rahul Tewatia has prior experience of donning the finisher’s hat in the IPL
Tewatia shot to fame in IPL 2020 after his whirlwind knock of 53 in 31 balls against Punjab. He hit seven sixes in that innings, five of which came against fiery West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell.
Tewatia heroics set the platform too high for the all-rounder. He could not maintain those displays for RR, who released him after the 2021 season. Given another chance to impress for GT, Tewatia has not failed them so far.
#2 Responsibility could get the best out of Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia was not a senior figure at RR. However, at GT, the set-up is different. The lack of experienced stars in the Titans’ line-up means Tewatia has a lot of responsibility on him.
Shubhman Gill is a trusted opener with Hardik Pandya and David Miller taking care of the middle-order. It leaves the impetus of a good finish on Tewatia alone.
The Haryana-born cricketer has delivered so far, already playing two crucial innings for GT. The first one was a 24-ball 40 against Lucknow Super Giants. The second came against Punjab Kings where he slammed two sixes in the last two balls to win the match for the Titans.
#1 Effortless six-hitting
Rahul Tewatia has established himself as a big six hitter. He can send the ball over the rope at will. His 2020 knock against Punjab can possibly be trumped by his latest exploits against them earlier this month.
He hit two sixes off Odean Smith in the last two deliveries, while GT needed 12 off two deliveries.
Rahul Tewatia has hit form early in the season and GT will be hoping for him to carry on in this vein for the rest of the season. Their only other expert finisher is Hardik Pandya, who has promoted himself up the order.
Hence, the onus this season is on Tewatia. In four matches, he has amassed 72 runs at a strike-rate of 187.17. He has also hit he highest sixes for GT this season (5).