Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals plays a shot during an IPL match against Kings XI Punjab held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday
Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals plays a shot during an IPL match against Kings XI Punjab held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday

Rajasthan Royals batsman Rahul Tewatia on Sunday became an overnight star after he hit five sixes in an over of Sheldon Cottrell to take his side to the victory. Despite a slow start and playing "worst 20 balls", Tewatia scored a 31-ball 53.

From Twitter users to batting legends, all were in the awe of the Haryana player as he took Royals to the brink of win from the jaws of defeat. Only a year ago, the left-hander had to request for a "pat on the back" from Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting.

Tewatia made his IPL debut with Rajasthan Royals in the 2014 season and was bought by the Kings XI Punjab in 2017. In 2018, he was bought by Delhi (Daredevils) in the IPL auction before being sold back to Rajasthan for 2020 season.

Ricky Ponting, who holds debriefings in the dressing room after every match, praises players for small contributions who are otherwise not mentioned in the match presentations. In a debriefing video of Capitals' 2019 season that has gone viral following Tewatia's match-winning knock, he can be seen walking up to Ponting to remind him that he took four catches in the win against the mighty Mumbai Indians.

This, after Ponting, finished patting the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram and the bowlers for their match-winning effort at the Wankhede Stadium.

On Tewatia's request, Ponting obliges but in a rather deriding manner.

"Boys Tewatia took four catches and wants a pat on the back," Ponting tells the dressing room as everyone laughs.

Then a voice is heard from the background. "Mang ke le raha hai haramkhor (He is asking for a pat on the back)."

Tewatia is then approached by Axar Patel who mocks him for seeking recognition. "Bhai aise kaun kahta hai (who says things like that)."

"Apne haq ke liye ladai karni padti hai (We have to fight for what we are owed)," Tewatia says at the end of the footage.

It is worth noting that Tewatia's 4 catches was no small feat as it is still a record for an IPL match. Tewatia is in the company of Sachin Tendulkar, David Warner, Jacques Kallis, David Miller and Faf du Plessis.

Watch the video here: (Tewatia comes in around 5:15 minute)

Tewatia had his moment on Sunday when he did not have to ask for a pat on the back but was nevertheless bestowed by it.

Later after the match, Tewatia told ANI, "You either grab an opportunity or get bogged down by it. Smith and team told me I am their 'game-changer'. So, it was my duty to ensure that I repose their faith. When the team and a stalwart like Smith backs you, the job is anyway half done. I am blessed to be a part of the RR family."

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Free Press Journal