"Doesn't Look Like Hardik Pandya Is Captaining For First Time": Rahul Tewatia To NDTV
IPL 2022: Talking to NDTV, Gujarat Titans all-rounder Rahul Tewatia said that it does not look like that Hardik Pandya is captaining for the first time.
Gujarat Titans' run in the ongoing IPL 2022 season has been nothing short of a fairytale. Playing their first-ever season, Gujarat Titans have performed exceptionally well to reach the final and they will square off against Rajasthan Royals in the summit clash. All-rounder Rahul Tewatia has chipped with crucial cameos for the team and one cannot forget his knock against Punjab Kings, where he smashed two sixes off the final two balls of the game to take his side over the line. Talking to NDTV, Tewatia gave an insight into his mindset and he also reserved some high praise for Hardik Pandya.
"No, not at all (whether he thinks about 'Iceman' nickname). Cricket is a game of pressure, whoever handles pressure well, is a champion. I am not thinking about what name people have given me. After IPL, I will think about what name people have given me. I just hope that I keep helping my team to win the matches," Tewatia told NDTV.
"I feel this year I have scored more boundaries on the off-side as compared to leg-side. Last year, my leg-side area was on the dominant side but this year, I worked on my off-side play. I executed my plans, at the end of the day, if your plans are executed in the match, it benefits your team as well," he further stated.
After the mega auction in Bengaluru, several people had said that Gujarat Titans don't seem to have a strong team on paper. However, the side has proven the naysayers wrong by marching into the final.
"Everyone has their own predictions, whoever thought that we won't go far, have been proven wrong. Midway during the season, I heard a lot about our batting, that middle-order is not that strong. 'They did not have a good auction'. But now see how many games our middle-order has won for us. Everybody is talking about it. This is cricket, it cannot be that everyone has a perfect team after the mega auction. When the auction got over, we were happy with the squad we had. Openers were perfect, middle-order was perfect. We were happy on seeing the squad, we had met for a camp in Ahmedabad and everyone was confident," said Tewatia.
When asked about the most satisfying match this season, the all-rounder said: "For me, the season opener against Lucknow Super Giants was most satisfying. We had lost four wickets, I scored 40 runs from there, it gave the team momentum and I also got a little bit of momentum. If you play a good innings for the team initially, it gives the team confidence as well. The first game against LSG went very well and it gave us a lot of confidence."
Lastly talking about Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan, Tewatia said: "Hardik keeps things simple both on and off the field. He practices the same way every time, irrespective of whether he has scored runs or not. He keeps the atmosphere pretty chilled. It does not look like Hardik is captaining for the first time."
"I have talked a lot about bowling with Rashid Khan. If Rashid does not take a wicket, then you just see that he concedes only 15-20 runs. He has a big impact on the game. Rashid bhai also told us that he worked a lot on his batting and it showed this season," he added.