Jos Buttler put up a masterclass of T20 batting and single-handedly changed the course of the game to help Rajasthan Royals secure their second win of the tournament. Buttler was also helped by Ajinkya Rahane, whose solid 37 ensured that there was no casualty in the powerplay overs.
Ajinkya Rahane (6/10): The mental block that Rahane is having is forcing him to the very limit, yet the inability to overcome that, has become his kryptonite. He was given a life thanks to the DRS, but couldn’t build on that and eventually managed to score only 37 runs. Definitely better than the performance in the last week, but the captain needs to be more resilient and consistent.
Jos Buttler (10/10): Freakish. It was batsmanship of different level. Once Jos Buttler hit four fours and two sixes against Alzarri Joseph to take himself to 89, it became Rajasthan’s game to lose. Much of the Royals’ success last year was formed around Buttler’s success and that will hold the key for the upcoming matches as well.
Sanju Samson (6/10): After Rahane’s dismissal, Samson had an opportunity to be there for a longer period and guide the team to victory. Although he got the start to back the hope, Samson was castled by Jasprit Bumrah to leave his team in a quandary. Could’ve done better for sure.
Steve Smith (2/10): Despite knowing that the lower-order is fragile and has rarely taken the responsibility, the former Australian skipper didn’t push himself to the final line. In hindsight, it can also be viewed that Smith was hurried in his approach, which is unforgivable where you are playing against someone like Jasprit Bumrah.
Rahul Tripathi (1/10): Touted as one of the brightest prospects in the country, Tripathi got a chance to bat in the top-five, but the big-hitting prowess that characterised him last year remained largely absent. The Maharashtra batsman was of course very good on the field, but the eagerness to get going even when the shot was non-existent caused his downfall.
Liam Livingstone (1/10): Liam Livingstone’s IPL debut didn’t go as planned as he first conceded 13 runs in one over, and with the bat, he could score only one run. When he came out to bat, the team needed him to score carefully, as there was a collapse happening, but his failure to do so wouldn’t make him happy even though the team eventually went on to win the game.
Krishnappa Gowtham (1/10): As far as tragicomedies go, this should be right up there. Gowtham returned to the squad, replacing Riyan Parag, against his former team - Mumbai Indians, but was taken to the cleaners by Rohit and de Kock. His three overs resulted in 39 runs, making him one of the worst performers of the day.
Jofra Archer (7/10): The Englishman is on a mission to teach every cricketer in the IPL a lesson on how to keep the seam position intact and nail down the yorkers perfectly. Archer was successful in tying down the Mumbai batsmen - both in the middle overs and in the death - and the way he managed to do that was just awesome. Definitely the MVP in Rajasthan Royals currently. Could have given him 8, but the economy rate takes one point off.
Shreyas Gopal (7/10): Bowling in the same vein of Anil Kumble, the Karnataka spinner ensured that opening the arms against him was a very difficult proposition thanks to the geometrical angle his googly possess. Gopal was very good when he was attacking though, and the pace with which he bowled, made Mumbai batsmen suffer in the backend of the innings. Fair play to him for the way he batted at the end and didn’t lose his cool under pressure to take the team over the line.
Jaydev Unadkat (1/10): If living up to the price tag is actually a phrase going around in the IPL, then Jaydev Unadkat must hide
Dhawal Kulkarni(5/10): Dhawal Kulkarni is bowling in the tournament as good as he has ever done. Of course, he has been unsuccessful and at times, gave away a lot of runs, but one thing shouldn’t be forgotten, he seemed very convincing at times, even threatening to be the best bowler in the side. His understanding of the Wankhede track gave him a different sort of balance and even though he could pick one wicket, he was valuable to the side.
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