The 27-year-old Rahul Tewatia, playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, was a villain for the most part of Sunday's match against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
Many on Twitter were furious when he walked in to bat after skipper Steve Smith's dismissal. Bringing in Rahul Tewatia ahead of Robin Uthappa is going to be a huge mistake for the Royals -- was a general consensus on the microblogging site.
The fans grew angrier after the Faridabad-born lad looked completely out of touch. The left-handed batsman began absorbing dot ball after dot ball. He made just five runs off the first 13 balls he had faced. "Why doesn't he just go back to the pavilion and send someone else," remarked a Twitter user.
Shortly after being labelled the villain, Tewatia's bat turned into a magic wand and his innings into a fairy-tale. Windies speedster Sheldon Cottrell steamed in and bowled Tewatia a bouncer and he pulled it over long leg for a six. Cottrell went for another short-pitched delivery and Tewatia again sent it over square. Cottrell then pitched it up and Tewatia put it over long-off and he then sent the next ball, a wide full toss, over midwicket. Tewatia, however, missed out on six sixes in an over but the batsman pulled off an impossible-looking victory for RR.
Twitterati celebrated Royals' victory and many even apologised for calling Tewatia names. From "Feel for Tewatia. But he is losing his team the game" to "He had almost lost it! Delighted for him that he could turn it around" commentator Harsha Bhogle also had a turnaround of sorts. "This is why we love sport," tweeted veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn.
"I think they need to make a Netflix series about Tewatia's innings": this tweet of a user perfectly summed up the day for the batsman.
Meanwhile, after RR's win, this author went through Tewatia's Twitter feed and was amazed to find a bunch of optimistic quotes which resonated with Sunday's magnificent performance (31-ball 53).
"If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you'll be a winner," read a tweet.
"Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you're about to give up hope," Tewatia wrote in another tweet.
Here are a few of Tewatia's optimistic tweets: