Gujarat Titans (GT) all-rounder Rahul Tewatia batting against Punjab. Pic: IPLT20.COM
The 28-year-old was part of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) franchise for the last two seasons and made a name for himself as a finisher. During the 2020 edition, Tewatia famously slammed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over.
Released ahead of the mega-auction, Rahul Tewatia was picked up by GT for ₹9 crores. He has done a good job for his new franchise, playing a key role in winning a couple of tight matches.
In an interview posted on IPLT20.COM, the all-rounder shed light on his role in the team. Rahul Tewatia said:
“I had been doing this (finisher’s) role for the last 2-3 years for Rajasthan, and the role was quite clear. When I joined GT, Ashish (Nehra) bhai told me that we are looking for someone at No. 5 or No. 6. He said – ‘We want someone to finish games and we are looking at you for the role.'”
Tewatia added that he did not have to prepare differently for his role since he has done the same for his domestic team. The left-handed batter stated:
“Once he (Nehra) showed trust in me, I started my preparations right away. I have been playing the same role for my domestic team as well, so the preparations have been the same for me. But yeah, with a bit more effort.”
The all-rounder is taking on his former franchise RR at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai today. Asked to share his feelings regarding the same, Rahul Tewatia replied:
“I am very excited to play against RR. It is my old franchise but there are many new players in that team. So yeah, really looking forward to it.”
The aggressive cricketer scored 40* off 24 balls in GT’s win over Lucknow in their first IPL 2022 encounter. He also smashed two sixes off the last two balls to lift Gujarat to a pulsating victory over Punjab.
“Want to take greater responsibility in bowling” – Rahul Tewatia
Apart from big-hitting skills, Tewatia is also a decent leg-spinner. However, considering how strong the GT bowling line-up is, he hasn’t had much to do with the ball. Tewatia opined that, as the tournament progresses, the spinners will come into play a lot more. The 28-year-old explained:
“I want to take greater responsibility in bowling as well. But because of our strong bowling line-up, I am not needed much as of now. As the wickets get slower, though, I am sure the spinners will come more into the game.”
RR won the toss against GT and invited them to bat first. Gujarat have made two changes to their team. Yash Dayal has come in for Darshan Nalkande and Vijay Shankar for Sai Sudharsan. For Rajasthan, Jimmy Neesham has replaced Trent Boult, who is unavailable due to a small niggle.