Rahul Tewatia was responsible for one of the strangest and most remarkable innings T20 cricket has ever seen today.

Promoted up the Rajasthan Royals order to No. 4 in their chase of 224 against Kings XI Punjab, Tewatia started his innings torturously. With the asking rate above 11 runs per over, he scratched his way to five off 13, eight off 19 and later 17 off 23. At that point the required run rate had leapt up to an eye-watering 17 runs an over as the Royals needed 51 from the last three overs.

What followed was an extraordinary display of ball-striking. Tewatia proceeded to hit six of the next seven balls he faced over the ropes for six. From nowhere, it was the Royals’ game and just minutes after being their potential “villain”, Tewatia was their hero.

During his innings’ lowest moments, he had plenty of respected and authoritative voices in the game questioning the Royals’ decision to move him up the order. When he was 17 off 23, The CricViz Analyst explained just how damaging his knock was for his side, at that moment.

And recover he did.

When on five off 13 amid debate over whether teams should retire out batsmen struggling for timing, ESPNcricinfo journalist Sidharth Monga wrote on the site’s ball-by-ball coverage: “I feel for Tewatia, I really do, because he will become the villain of the match, and he is an earnest cricketer who loves to do whatever he can for the team, but he has been put in an impossible position by the management who have over-estimated his batting drastically. He is watching the ball well, but he doesn’t seem to have the shots.”

Monga wasn’t alone in writing off Tewatia before he made his astonishing recovery.