The 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) threw a lot many possibilities for India’s 2022 T20 World Cup squad. Few were named based on their performance in the IPL for the home series against South Africa which ended on Sunday in Bengaluru, while few others were called up for the impending two-match series in Ireland later this month. But there were a few notable absentees and Rahul Tewatia, who had taken IPL 2022 by storm which his breathtaking finishing abilities for Gujarat Titans, is among them, an omission that left cricket legends baffled.
Tewatia’s splendid all-round show in 2022 season of the IPL earned him his maiden India call-up in 2021 for the five-match T20I series against England. However, he was dropped from the squad in the next series and soon fell out of contention for a spot in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
The 29-year-old however made a superb return to IPL 2022 where he scored 217 runs in Gujarat Titans’ title-winning run at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 147.61. He was also very handy with the ball as well.
“Rahul Tewatia should have been in team for Ireland. The one man who should have been in the team was Iceman Rahul Tewatia. He was superb in IPL. He batted cleverly throughout the tournament,” former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports on Sunday during the discussion on India’s squad for the Ireland series.
“Someone who shows that kind of temperament should have been in the team at least as 16th member of the team. At least his hard work should have been recognised,” he added.
A day after the squad was announced for the Ireland series, Tetwaia had taken to Twitter to write, “Expectation hurts”.
Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, who was part of the discussion, realised the difficulties for the selection committee given India’s pool of talented cricketers and felt that the management muct have picked players based on conditions in Australia.
He said: “It’s very difficult in India as you guys have so much talent. And coach Rahul Dravid, and captain Rohit Sharma must have had picked their majority of guys anticipating the conditions in Australia. I would say instead of Twitter, focus, perform and next time your time comes make sure no one can leave you out.”
India still have the England and West Indies series to follow after the Ireland tour.