Sports

Haryana village basks in Rahul Tewatia’s glory: “Pandavas, Surdas and now Rahul”

Written by Devendra Pandey
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September 29, 2020 1:28:26 am





Rahul Tewatia was Rajasthan Royals’ unlikely hero in their heist in opposition to Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. (Twitter/RajasthanRoyals)

“You guys couldn’t wait for 18 balls, we waited for 18 years to see this day. We knew he wouldn’t throw his wicket away. He had to succeed. Else, he would have to sit out the next 12 games. I knew he won’t quit,” Rahul Tewatia’s uncle Dharambir turns philosophical in the morning after the night time of his nephew’s life.

Not simply the previous cricketers on air and followers, however even his on-field accomplice Sanju Samson had turned down a single. Euthanasia via hit wicket or a wild cost was advisable. A scent of embarrassment swirled in the air however in a Sharjah minute, the whole lot modified for Tewatia. Rather, he enforced it by slamming Sheldon Cottrell for 5 sixes in an over. A redemption story that solely sport can supply in sixty seconds. Quite a ridiculous night time, actually.

“Pandavas, Surdas, and now Rahul; that’s what our village Sihi is known for,” Rahul’s father Krishna Pal says. Sihi is a small village in Faridabad district in Haryana, the place metro trains attain lately on the station named Sant Surdas Sihi.

His father wasn’t exaggerating a lot. Surdas, the blind poet who was probably the most influential figures of the Bhakti Movement, got here from this village in the sixteenth century. In the epic Mahabharata, Pandavas had requested for 5 villages from Kauravas to keep away from struggle. Four of them are talked about and the fifth is left to the selection of Kauravas. In Krishna Pal’s telling, the fifth was Sihi. It’s no shock then that in the land that revels in its myths, his son Rahul has chosen to construct his personal fantasy. “Rahul ka naam bhi jhud gaya (Rahul’s name has been added to Sihi’s history today). The whole village came to greet us. Those TV channel guys are also coming,” an elated Pal says.

Not the primary selection

Cricket was by no means the primary selection of Tewatias. Rahul’s grandfather was a farmer and a pehalwan, wrestler. His uncle had represented Haryana in hockey nationals. Krishna Pal says that hockey was the primary sport in his village, and boasts fairly a number of gamers for the state.

However, Rahul was extra captivated with cricket. When he was 9 he was picked by Haryana authorities for ‘Haryana Nursery’ scheme that gives a two-year scholarship and develops sportspersons.

When he was 12, his father took him to former India wicket-keeper Vijay Yadav’s academy in Faridabad. “He was a small boy, and more than him, his family was excited and wanted Rahul to prosper in the game. His father said, it’s not only his name but that of the whole village was at stake,” recollects Yadav.

Rahul quickly broke into Haryana under-14 group and later, went represented the under-16, 19 and 22 sides. He was additionally picked for National Cricket Academy camps and life was good till the cruel actuality hit.

Brake on breaks

With two world-class spinners in the Haryana state group, Rahul needed to look ahead to the chance. It proved an extended stressed wait. Uncle Dharambir recollects the robust instances. “Mann dabao mey aa jaata hai (The heart too feels the pressure in the bad times). Rahul was ready to give up cricket but the family felt he has it in him and that he should continue. Luckily, he got an IPL contract,” his uncle, a sports activities instructor at a authorities college, says.

He will get again to final night time’s drama. He says he was certain when the commentators have been going after his nephew that the tide will change, that Rahul will hit again together with his bat. “Newtons’ law says na that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Pratikriya toh hogi hi, na. I knew Rahul’s reaction would come soon.”

“All his life he has done this, gone and scored runs in the last five overs. The situation is not new to him, he has been successful most of the time. This time, too, he had to return to the pavilion only after he succeeded. Else, he would have to sit out on the bench for the next 12 games. Rahul is not the type who will succumb to pressure,” Dharambir says.

Confident coach

Yadav, the coach and former India participant, had different causes to be assured. Before the Sharjah night time, the world might need seen Tewatia as a bowling allrounder however the coach knew it was batting that made him a participant to be careful for.

“I told him a long time ago that it’s his batting that will take him to places,” Yadav says. “His bat speed and back-lift are as smooth as Brian Lara’s I would say. That bat-speed helps him to send the ball faster than most.”

Not simply the batting, Yadav can also be a fan of Rahul’s psychological tenacity. “He can handle pressure much better than others. I remember a game he played for Income Tax team despite a fractured leg. He hit a hundred in 60-odd balls. More than the tally of runs, it was his temperament that stood out for me. He kept aside his pain and played,” he recollects.

At 27, the Tewatias knew that point was working out for Rahul. He wanted a particular efficiency to make his identify. Yadav too was banking on IPL. Dharambir recollects his dialog with Rahul on August 17, the day he landed in Mumbai to fly to Dubai. “It’s your peak hour, the day you get a chance you will have to do it. Iska aage koi gunjayish nahi hai (there is no real chance after this). Luckily, he did well in two games,” he says.

The uncle additionally places Rahul’s change in fortunes in perspective. “My son was saying that till yesterday Rahul had 22,000 followers on Instagram. Now, it’s jumped to 75,000. Until yesterday, everyone was asking who is Rahul Tewatia, kaun hai yeh, and now the whole world knows him. That’s what has changed.” And modified in an over.

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