Rahul Tewatia Makes Strong Case For India's T20 World Cup Team If Performance Is The Only Criterion | Jaideep Ghosh Column
Tewatia has scored 179 runs in eight innings in IPL 2022, with a best of 43 not out and an average of 44.75 and a telling strike rate of 161.26.
Whatever Gujarat Titans (GT) in the IPL 2022 auction, one thing they got right to pick up Rahul Tewatia. The all-rounder is not your typical glamour boy of cricket in India, nor does he need to be, so long as he can play the way he can. His contribution to the GT cause in this season should be enough for those in the decision-making halls of Indian cricket to sit up and take notice. With so many international engagements ahead, the Indian team needs players who can deliver and are in form and there is no question that Tewatia has the mind and the body to be considered.
Why Gujarat Titans have been fortunate in IPL 2022
Make no mistake, GT have been very fortunate with their lower middle-order, which is essentially why they have won eight of the nine matches they have played in IPL 2022.
Tewatia got them a sensational win against Punjab Kings when the chips looked decisively down, hammering two consecutive sixes off Odean Smith when GT needed exactly 12 runs of two deliveries.
He then combined with Rashid Khan to destroy SunRisers Hyderabad and subsequently partnered David Miller as GT to pull off another insane last-over victory, this time over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Make no mistake, GT were very much in a corner in all these three matches, but came out winners, with Tewatia as the common batting denominator.
Rahul Tewatia has a new name: Iceman
His performances have drawn accolades from all and he was named "Iceman" by Sunil Gavaskar. Tewatia may not have added much as a leg-spinner, but his development as a late-order finisher in T20 cricket is now without doubt.
He has worked a lot on his batting, as he himself says. "I had improved my off-stump game quite a bit from the start of the IPL and hit quite a few shots. Because bowlers had begun planning and keeping the field outside off stump, so I thought that if I can hit my shots in the gap, I can get boundaries there too. So I could open up the game on both sides," Tewatia said after the RCB win.
Tewatia has scored 179 runs in eight innings in IPL 2022, with a best of 43 not out and an average of 44.75 and a telling strike rate of 161.26. For a man who was always considered a bits and pieces player, he has done tremendously well indeed, with very little left to play with in each of these matches.
One wonders if Tewatia will be in focus for India colours. There have been other, much hyped and equally underperforming, who have made it to Team India in the recent past. If sheer performance is the only criterion, then Tewatia is undoubtedly your man.
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