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IPL 2022: Rahul Tewatia’s clutch consecutive sixes earn praise from Hardik Pandya

The Titans needed 12 runs of their last two balls and Tewatia was there to take his team over the line.

Hardik PandyaHardik Pandya of Gujarat Titans during T20 cricket match 16 of the Indian Premier League 2022 (IPL season 15) between the Punjab Kings and the Gujarat Titans held at the Brabourne Stadium (CCI) in Mumbai. (IPL | PTI)

Rahul Tewatia’s clutch back-to-back sixes led the Gujarat Titans to a win over the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Captain Hardik Pandya singled Tewatia out for praise and said that his courage won the team a game that most would have considered lost in the final two balls.

The Titans needed 12 runs of their last two balls and Tewatia was there to take his team over the line. His two consecutive strikes over the ropes enabled the Titans to continue their perfect winning record in the 2022 IPL.

Praising Tewatia, Pandya said, “He is a hard-working guy and has a lot of courage. With the skill set he possesses; he backs himself and we have seen multiple times how he takes the game away from other teams – it shows a lot of character. Kudos to him for the way he finished the game and the previous game as well where he contributed a lot. As cricketers we all work hard but I’m very happy it’s coming for him.”

Two players who have been on a great run for Pandya & Co so far and have played crucial roles in this season of the IPL are Rashid Khan and Shubhman Gill. They have been the pillars of the team and for Pandya, Khan is his ‘trump card’ and he uses him when the situation demands.

“Rash is my trump card, I will use him when the situation needs it. He can get a team out of a bad situation. He is more dangerous when people are attacking. I have seen people trying to play him out in the IPL. Instead, I want people to attack him, that’s where he is dangerous and he is more helpful to us,” the Gujarat captain pointed out.

He further added on his ace leggie, “It’s a blessing to have someone like Rash in the team because you know at any given point of time he can get you back in the game. That’s the role he has been given in the team, that is why he is the vice-captain. He is an aggressive spinner, which I don’t see a lot off, and is always looking for wickets. That is his role and that is the way we want to play our cricket.”

Captaincy role

Pandya is enjoying captaincy and as a cricketer had always wanted the responsibility of leading a team. “I have become a better cricketer because of this. One becomes a good cricketer when challenges like these come your way,” he opined.

Meanwhile, it’s Gill who has been making all the right noises with his bat. He scored 96 in Gujarat’s remarkable chase at Brabourne Stadium and was singled out for the responsibility that he has taken with the team’s batting by Pandya.

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“We are not a team that conducts many meetings. Whenever he (Gill) gets the opportunity, he expresses himself but also carries out his role responsibly. I haven’t told him much, just that he enjoys his game,” the all-rounder explained.

First published on: 09-04-2022 at 10:50 IST
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