Year in Review 2020, Biggest Sports Stories: When Rahul did 'a Tewatia' and became a household name, a cricketing metaphor
Rahul Tewatia gave birth to a cricketing metaphor, where when a team/player is struggling in a cricket match, one wonders whether they can 'do a Tewatia?'
Editor's Note: It's that time of the year already. Every end comes with an opportunity to look back and reflect, and while 2020, by general consensus, was a forgettable affair, sports did manage to conjure some moments of lasting relevance. From Liverpool ending their Premier League title wait to the mighty Indian cricket team crashing like never before in Adelaide to the passing away of some of sports' all-time greats, the field of play, even in a truncated calendar, produced a fair share of shock, surprise, and awe. In Firstpost's latest series, we take a look at some of the biggest sporting moments of 2020.
Thinking about the biggest sporting stories, Rahul Tewatia slogging Sheldon Cottrell and others during the epic IPL contest between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab comes immediately to my mind. A lot has been already said and written about the brilliance of the innings, which took Rajasthan Royals across the line in the chase. However, it was the effort that makes the knock etched in one's memory forever, especially so because it was played in the year 2020, the year of struggles, fight and hope.
In the past, we have seen players struggle so bad that we have wished for their dismissal, retirement etc. This is what the secondhand embarrassment in sport feels like, where you almost feel what the player is going through, although you are not in that struggle, but you have been there before once.
In the first half of the innings, Tewatia looked so out of sorts that day that it even made his partner Sanju Samson look frustrated. With no pace on the ball, his timing faltered, number of dot balls grew as did the pressure.
It appeared as if Tewatia was not only seeing the scoreboard, he was imagining every cuss word being hurled at him across living rooms; reading every strongly-worded tweet against him and bracing for memes and jokes on social media.
But he did not let all of these things affect him. And it requires a strong character do that. His limited batting skills had been surely exposed but later half of the innings also revealed his massive mental strength and character.
He was not thinking of the jokes and the venomous tweets. But maybe he was thinking about Galway Kinnell's lines: 'wait, don't go too early, you are tired but everyone's tired, but no one is tired enough, wait!"
And he waited and excelled. Cottrell bowling in his slot, at pace, and his angst of letting his team down quickly, combined together, to see those flurry of sixes.
This knock also reflected the sheer randomness of this sport. It is anyone's game, we were told. The effort stood for resilience, fight and the never say die attitude, that so many stories have taught us over the years. It was as if we were watching a fairytale being narrated on live TV, on a cricket pitch.
But what really fascinated me more was not the sheer brilliance, but that it came from Tewatia. This wasn't a mastery of (MS) Dhoni in a chase, (Virat) Kohli flicking off his legs, Rohit (Sharma) pulling, (Jasprit) Bumrah yorker-ing. Here was an ordinary script, suddenly becoming the most exciting, enthralling watch on screen. The fact that this act of brilliance came from an unknown quarter when least expected.
What followed after the match-winning knock for not-very-popular Tewatia is that he instantly became a household name, his Twitter following swelled and his fans believing that they had a chance because Tewatia was still there. An uncapped, unknown IPL player gaining massive popularity and fame, in matter of deliveries. The failure could have buried him in history books.
Not to forget, he also gave birth to a cricketing metaphor, where when a team/player is struggling in a cricket match, one wonders whether they can "do a Tewatia?"
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