There’s a game theory called ‘the chicken game’ which describes two players heading towards each other on a path of collision. If the players continue on the same path, they crash into each other; if one swerves out of the way and other doesn’t, the swerver “loses” and is labeled the chicken, while the second, implicitly braver player, wins.
Rahul Tewatia had every reason to swerve after being 8 runs of 19 balls chasing a monstrous 226. Had he continued the way he was going, Rajasthan Royals would have crashed and burned well short of the King’s XI total. He could have retired hurt or run down the wicket blindly in hopes of a boundary or being stumped but he kept on going, head first into the King’s XI attack.
Most players would have tapped out at this point whether out of choice or from cracking under pressure. Either taking the hit and said “It’s not my day – let someone else try” or simply from reaching a breaking point. It takes a whole lot of self belief and confidence in your own game to come back from being turned down for a single by your partner at the other end to do what he did.
Tewatia had faced 11 dot balls. Almost 2 overs of dots. A 10th of the Royal’s innings. Completely missing sweeps and reverse sweeps and putting the set batsman, Sanju Samson, under serious pressure. Samson had every right at that point to turn him down for a single as he smoked Glenn Maxwell for a six over midwicket taking 21 off the over and not letting Tewatia face a single ball.
At the end of the 15th over it was still in the balance as long as Samson was at the crease but then the game changed. Samson toe edged the ball to KL Rahul behind the stumps and everything seemed lost. A couple of boundaries from Uthappa at the end of the 16th left the required rate at 17.
51 required off 18 balls.
Cotrell to Tewatia, SIX runs… The tide began to turn… and again, SIX over square… and again, SIX over mid off… it was like watching a phoenix being reborn from the ashes. Clean hitting. Tewatia smashed 5 sixes.. the biggest over of the IPL cricket since 2016 when Virat Kohli hit 30 off Shivil Kaushik (Gujarat Lions).
He single handedly brought the required rate down from 17 to 10.10. 21 required off 12. With some assistance from Jofra Archer and Tom Curran the Royals polished off the game with 3 balls and 4 wickets to spare.
Had Tewatia taken the easy way out and given up it’s quite likely the Royal’s would have lost. Everyone had written him off including the commentators but he kept his faith in his ability to win the game. He battled through what was most likely the toughest period he’d faced in a game. He didn’t back away, he knew he had the capacity to win the game. He fought through and did just that.
Lesson? Maybe sometimes you feel it isn’t your day. Maybe sometimes a certain bowler is getting the better of you. Don’t give up. Don’t write yourself off. Don’t let yourself get away with tapping out..
Back yourself. You know what you’re capable of.