Sports News

Tewatia keen to make most of new role at Rajasthan Royals

(Reuters) - Rajasthan Royals’ Rahul Tewatia said he is relishing the responsibility placed on his shoulders by skipper Steve Smith after his heroics in Sunday’s record run chase in the Indian Premier League.

Tewatia struck seven sixes, including five in one over, in his 31-ball 53 as Rajasthan reached their target of 224 - the highest run chase in the Twenty20 tournament’s history - to defeat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets with three balls left.

Tewatia, picked as a leg-spinner in the Rajasthan squad, was promoted to the number four spot ahead of batsman Robin Uthappa, with the team needing 124 runs from 11 overs.

“They sent me at number four and the plan was to simply take on the bowlers,” Tewatia told reporters. “I knew my role clearly because it was discussed with me before the tournament started.

“I realised that if they are sending me up the order, they have belief in me. It was also an opportunity to prove myself.”

With 51 needed off three overs, Tewatia hit five sixes off West Indies bowler Sheldon Cottrell to turn the game on its head.

“From the beginning, I was trying to bat as per the required run rate but I wasn’t able to initially hit the ball well,” the 27-year-old added.

“But I knew that once I could start hitting big... we would get closer to our target. So it happened in that over... I could hit the first six and the rest of the sixes kept coming.”

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Chennai; Editing by Christian Radnedge