Here’s what Tewatia and his captain Steven Smith said after the match, to the host broadcaster Star Sports:
How were you feeling at the halfway point in your innings when you couldn’t really get it out of the middle?
Tewatia: I think that was the worst 20 balls that I have ever played. After that – I was hitting the ball very well in the nets so I had belief in myself and kept going.
What about mental strength? You were 8 off 19 and turned it around. How did you stay positive and strong?
I was not hitting the ball well initially. Then I saw in the dugout, everybody was curious because they know that I can hit the ball long. At once, I thought “I have to believe in myself”. It was a matter of just one six, and after that I thought now it’s time to get going. Five [sixes] in the [18th] over felt amazing.
Cottrell was the over for you…
Well, the coach (Andrew McDonald) told me to hit sixes off the leg spinner (Ravi Bishnoi) but unfortunately I didn’t hit him. So I had to hit the other bowler so that we could win or get closer to the target.
IPL 2020: What Tewatia did in the nets he did it to Cottrell, says Royals skipper Smith
Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith praised teammate Sanju Samson’s striking ability and Rahul Tewatia’s heroics in the record chase of 224 against Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.
For the second game in a row in Sharjah, Samson starred with the bat by hitting a 42-ball 85, which included seven sixes. Smith said, “Sanju is striking the ball cleanly all over the ground. [He is] Taking pressure off everyone. We will have to adapt to the bigger grounds, but these shots would clear everywhere.
That was some chase wasn’t it?
Yeah, I thought we were getting a bit behind over there, and then Tewatia, wow! That was a nice little display, that over of Cottrell. It sort of pulled things back, well, gave us a chance again. What an amazing game.
What we’ve seen from him in the nets is what we saw off Sheldon Cottrell’s over, where he’s just been hitting the ball in the middle, and hitting the ball a long way. Obviously it was a bit of a scratchy start, he couldn’t quite get it out of the screws. But I actually said to (coach Andrew McDonald), that once he gets one away I think it might just get the floodgates open. Sort of proved to be the case. He kept himself in there. I think Sanju [Samson] said to him at one point, ‘Run down the wicket and try to hit it as far as you can, and see what happens’ (laughs). But credit to him, he stuck through it. Yeah, [he showed some heart], he did. He told me just before actually that ‘I still believed I could hit three sixes off [Mohammed] Shami and three off Cottrell and we’ll get us in the game.’ I said, ‘mate that’s great self-belief’ and that’s what we want to see. Credit to him, he did a terrific job in the end.