It was misery for Rahul Tewatia for the first few minutes after his arrival at the crease in the game against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. He was hardly able to middle the ball and the fans on social networking platforms were either critical of him, or were sympathizing with him for being put in such a situation.
Tewatia is not a regular number four for Rajasthan Royals, but was promoted in the batting order in the mammoth 224-run chase. He arrived at the crease when the side required 124 runs to win in 54 overs. By the end of 17th over, Tewatia was 17* off 23 deliveries. The side still needed 51 to win from 18 deliveries, and his presence was hardly inspiring any confidence.
And then, the show began.
In an incredible display of power-hitting, Tewatia struck Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over -- the ball sailed outside the stadium on one occasion for a group of lucky pedestrians to pick it up as souvenir. It happens a lot in Sharjah.
From sailing in troubled waters minutes ago, Tewatia suddenly became the hero of the match. But that's T20 cricket. As KXIP captain KL Rahul aptly put it after the match, the game "keeps you humble all the time."
Following Tewatia's stunning knock, the internet took a humble pie and began to hail the remarkable temperament of the 27-year-old Indian cricketer. As with most things in social media, it didn't take long for people to dig up content from the past which perfectly suited the present occasion. In case of Tewatia, it was apt, too.
Rahul Tewatia's Twitter account in 2017 largely comprised of motivational quotes and one of his tweets fit the situation perfectly.
"Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you're about to give up hope," he wrote on July 15, 2017. Interestingly, he wore a Kings XI Punjab jersey at the time.
Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right at the moment you're about to give up hope. pic.twitter.com/4y807p9W1X— Rahul Tewatia (@rahultewatia02) July 15, 2017
The tweet as thus far received over a thousand retweets, and people continue to quote-tweet it as an example of unparalleled persistence and perseverance. On Sunday, Tewatia showed that they weren't just words he wrote to keep the engagement on his account. They meant much more to him.
One can find many more such quotes on his account throughout 2017. "Work hard in silence, let success make the noise," one tweet read, from July 19. Another read, "If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you'll be a winner."
If you believe in yourself, have dedication and pride and never quit, you'll be a winner. pic.twitter.com/NGJqNcyAlN— Rahul Tewatia (@rahultewatia02) July 26, 2017
Tewatia's teammate Sanju Samson also hailed Tewatia's incredible temperament. ""It was really brave of him. He was down but he never gave up. He had the ability to come back and strike those 30 runs off an international player. It's a great confidence booster for him," Samson had said.