New posts sign in menu 

Cricket News

Samson explains why he turned down Tewatia's single

by  Hasnian  •  Last updated on 2020-09-30 14:24:01

"Smash it or get out!" bellowed one of the commentators when Rahul Tewatia was visibly struggling in the middle during Rajasthan Royals' chase against Kings XI Punjab. After Steve Smith departed following a quickfire stand with Sanju Samson, proceedings considerably slowed down. On one end, Samson kept the scoreboard ticking, getting the big hits on a small ground, making batting look easy. At the other end his partner Tewatia couldn't get bat on ball and had just 8 runs in 19 balls at one stage, with Sanju even refusing a single to keep strike.

"When you are playing a tournament like IPL or a format like T20, each and every over becomes very important," said Samson on Tuesday (September 29). "When Maxwell was bowling, and offspinner, being a right-handed batsman and I was striking it really well, I just wanted to face the maximum amount of deliveries as possible from him. I was thinking about hitting three to four sixes in those five or six balls. That is why I didn't take a single. With Rahul Tewatia being a left-hander, at that moment of the innings I thought that was the right decision to take. I was confident I could hit those sixes."

Tewatia was feeling the pressure. A positive for him may have been not having spectators at the ground, or it could've been worse, purely going by how social media went into a frenzy with suggestions of retiring himself out doing the rounds. Tewatia in the span of minutes had turned into the butt of all jokes.

"When I had come in to bat, the situation was quite good because Sanju Samson and Steve Smith got us off to a great start," said Tewatia on the eve of the game against KKR. "But when I couldn't hit soon after pressure began to build. Sanju was constantly telling me that it was a matter of one hit. After that I'd get the momentum I need so I was waiting for that one hit. I was obviously feeling the pressure."

And it all changed in the span of an over as Tewatia rapidly turned from villain to hero as he smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over bringing the required run-rate down drastically. Although Tewatia, being a left-hander, was promoted up the order to take on the legspinners, it was Cottrell who was at the receiving end.

"They had sent me to target the spinners really, but their spinners had bowled really well. Ravi Bishnoi had bowled very well. After that we were looking at the overs and in which over we could hit at the start, we had to make that over big. I got one in Cottrell's over and then I only thought that I should try and get as many from this over, which will be good for us.

"I was thinking of the run-rate and the same things even though I wasn't able to hit then, but I knew once I get one shot, I'll gain some momentum and the next 3-4 overs should be good for us so were closer to victory. It happened in that game-changing over. I got one shot then got them consistently and we were getting closer to the target."

Tewatia's role in the Rajasthan set-up is clear; it is to primarily take on the bowlers and give his side some quick runs. Although he struggled initially, it shows how mentally tough he is as a player to not just sustain that period, but even come out on top to turn the game on its head. "That's been my role ever since we began our camp ahead of the tournament. They didn't have to tell me that too much even after that, but I know my role in the side and it's what was expected of me if they were sending me up front, they had that confidence in me. It was also an opportunity to prove myself. Even if I get the chance going forward, I'll try giving it my best.

"After the game the management only spoke about the way I had handled myself in that situation...because at this level after being at that level to come back from there, you have to be really tough mentally. They were very happy and they kept saying that they believed that it was the matter of one hit for me to get momentum and get going."