'In 2018 I decided I had to play like I'm the team's main player' - Rahul Tewatia opens up on mindset, failure and IPL experiences
Tewatia spoke about his mindset in the IPL and his quickfire knock against Punjab in 2020.
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Gujarat Titans (GT) batter Rahul Tewatia expressed his journey in the IPL and the significant strides he made during his career thus far. The explosive southpaw made his debut in the top-tier league with the Rajasthan Royals in 2014 and attained limelight when he clobbered five maximums off a single over of Sheldon Cottrell, which helped his side clinch a thrilling victory against Punjab Kings in 2020.
However, the 29-year-old all-rounder stated that it was in the 2017-18 season, following his stint in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that he began developing a solid mindset. Notably, the southpaw aggregated 125 runs in just five innings at an average of 41.66 in the particular domestic season.
“After the way I performed in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2017-18, I wished I'd had this same mindset in the earlier IPL seasons. In 2014 I was picked for the first time by Rajasthan Royals - I gained the experience and was content. But in 2015, I played just one match, and in 2016, I went unsold at the auction. If I'd had the mindset, I had in 2018, it might have helped me play better cricket three to four years earlier,” told Tewatia in an interview with ‘The Cricket Monthly’.
“In 2018 I decided I had to play like I'm the team's main player. It shouldn't be a situation of me being in and out of the team. When the team is being selected, they shouldn't be thinking whether they should pick someone other than me. My name has to be in the XI. I have to play like a main player,” he added.
When asked about his 31-ball 53-run blitz, which included five sixes in one over against Punjab in 2020, the batter revealed that he was in ‘two-minds’ and did not give his 100 per cent to score the sixth maximum.
“I have no idea what was going on in my head at that time. I now wonder how I missed the sixth six - maybe I was in two minds about what shot to play and didn't give my 100%,” he added.