Kolkata: A day after being named in India's T20 squad for the upcoming series against England, all-rounder Rahul Tewatia on Sunday lit up the Vijay Hazare Trophy with his quickfire 73-run knock.
Playing for Haryana, Tewatia smashed 73 runs off just 39 balls with the help of four 4s and six 6s against Chandigarh at the Videcon Academy Ground in Kolkata.
With the help of this knock, Haryana managed to post 299/9 on the board in the allotted fifty overs.
Consistent showing for Haryana in domestic cricket and a brilliant Indian Premier League (IPL) saw all-rounder Tewatia break into the national team as the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) announced the Indian squad for the T20I matches against England on Saturday.
Tewatia might have stolen hearts with his showing in the 2020 edition of the IPL, but the spin-bowling all-rounder believes it is the challenge he faced while playing for Haryana that has made him a better cricketer.
Speaking to ANI moments after being named in the Indian team, Tewatia said that breaking into the Haryana squad and cementing a place in the XI in the presence of quality performers made him mentally strong and helped his game.
"Imagine fighting it out for a place in the team which has legends like Amit Mishra Bhai. Then you had Jayant Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal has also represented the state team whenever he has not been busy playing for India. The level of competition for spinners in the Haryana team is one of the toughest I would say. Finding a place and performing for Haryana not only gave me confidence but also helped me back my skills," he explained.
Asked how he would react to days when he did not perform considering the level of competition in the state team, Tewatia said that the support of the Haryana Cricket Association and former BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has helped him face all challenges.
"Yes, it can get tough some times when you have a bad game here and there, but there has been immense support from HCA. Not to forget how Anirudh sir has always instilled confidence in me. He was always a call away and ensured that I only looked at the positive side and backed my game," he pointed.
Tewatia is also excited about sharing the dressing room with some of the biggest names in international cricket.
"So far, I played against Virat Kohli in the IPL. Now I will play with him and share the dressing room with him. Cannot wait to share the dressing room with him and some of the best cricketers in world cricket. It will be all about learning from them and understanding how they compete against the best in the business and succeed," he smiled.
Tewatia also believes that a successful IPL was a big blessing. "You do know that the best in the world come over to play in the IPL. If you perform against them, it also helps build your confidence. I am glad that I could play match-winning knocks for Rajasthan Royals this season," he signed off.
Along with Tewatia, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Varun Chakravarthy were also named in India's T20 squad for the series against England.