IPL 2018: Spinners rule RR-KKR report card; Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni continue to occupy bottom ranks

Rajasthan Royals’ proud home record suffered a massive bruising as Kolkata Knight Riders ran havoc with bat and ball on a sluggish Jaipur wicket. The hosts never got going after a solid opening partnership as Dinesh Karthik spun a web around the batsmen using his array of slow bowlers. After putting up a below par total on board, Rajasthan’s hopes were thwarted as Kolkata Knight Riders batted sensibly to put the result beyond doubt.

Here’s rating the performances of the 22 players from this one-sided match.

Piyush Chawla – 10/10

When you are a leg-spinner, bowl well in the powerplay and gets Ben Stokes out, you are bound to get good marks in the report card. Chawla has been Karthik’s trump card with the new ball this season and has delivered more often than not. In another excellent spell, Chawla gave away a niggardly 18 runs in his four overs.

Nitish Rana – 10/10

The uncapped all-rounder is quickly turning into the most valuable player this season as he yet again turned his golden arm over and snapped up two key wickets in an economical two-over spell. As though that weren’t enough, he stood firm in the run chase and helped his side through without breaking a sweat.

Kuldeep Yadav – 9/10

On a turning pitch, Kuldeep choked the run flow and derailed Rajasthan Royals’ innings. The wily chinaman spinner was too good for the hapless Rajasthan batsmen and ended with eye-catching figures of 1/23 in his four-over spell.

Krishnappa Gowtham – 9/10

The excellent off-spinner showed just why he is preferred over some of the others in the squad by putting up a other good show with the ball. He accounted for Chris Lynn after opening the bowling and finished with rather impress figures of 4-0-23-2.

Robin Uthappa – 9/10

With Lynn not wasting much time, Uthappa got to face the new ball and played some smart shots, in particular against Jaydev Unadkat, to notch up a quickfire 48. The 69-run stand with Sunil Narine all but set a firm platform for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Dinesh Karthik – 9/10

After a disastrous week where his mind-boggling decisions flabbergasted quite a few, Karthik led from the front as Kolkata Knight Riders made a mockery of Rajasthan’s unassailable record at Jaipur which dates back to 2013.

Ajinkya Rahane – 8/10

The Rajasthan skipper and opener was in excellent touch and blazed away even as D’ Arcy Short, the man assigned for the job, watched from the other end. Rahane took on the bowlers with proper cricketing shots, at one point dumping Sunil Narine for four consecutive fours. He couldn’t quite carry forward his brilliant start, though.

Tom Curran – 7/10

The England seamer is quickly turning into the death bowler Kolkata wanted him to be. Curran picked up Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal off consecutive balls to bring an early conclusion to the Rajasthan innings.

D’ Arcy Short – 6/10

If anything, Rajasthan Royals would be pleased to see Short not getting run-out. The Australian opener wasn’t in his elements yet as he had to face a slew of spinners, but somehow managed to escape unscathed although he wasted a lot of balls in getting 44 runs.

Sunil Narine – 6/10

The West Indian off-spinner was the most economical bowler this season before the start of the match. But reputation matters little in this format of the game and he was looted for 48 runs in his four overs. To his credit, he put behind the horror show and swung his bat well to make a valuable 35 at a strike rate of 140.

Jos Buttler – 6/10

For the first time in the season, Buttler was actually left with something to do and gave Rajasthan a boost, if only minor, towards the end, with an 18-ball 24.

Shreyas Gopal – 5/10

Although he departed for a golden duck, Gopal bowled well within his limitations and would have had much better figures if not for two of his balls missing the mark against a rampant Uthappa.

Ben Laughlin – 4/10

On a sluggish wicket, Laughlin’s back of the length deliveries should have accounted for something but Rajasthan had a below par total and Kolkata had racked up 40 in the first five overs before he came into the attack.

Shivam Mavi – 3/10

It is still early days for under-19 star Mavi, but if his pace is anything to go by, the kid has a bright future ahead of him. He picked out the vital scalp of Sanju Samson but conceded at 10 an over in his four-over spell.

Ben Stokes – 2/10

The England all-rounder has had a rather poor start to the league after setting it alight in his debut season last year. Walking in at No 5, Stokes couldn’t quite make an impact with the bat. The no-show continued with the ball too but perhaps Rajasthan need to rethink when to bat and bowl Stokes.

Rahul Tripathi – 1/10

Promoted above Stokes, Tripathi couldn’t quite make an impact as KKR attacked with their slower bowlers. His 11-ball 15 only delayed Stokes’ entry to the wicket.

Sanju Samson – 1/10

After a special start to the season, Samson had an off day as he pulled Mavi straight down deep square leg’s throat. After the kind of form he exhibited thus far this season, a shot like that is excusable.

Chris Lynn – 1/10

The fiery Kolkata Knight Riders’ opener missed a cut and was undone by Gowtham off the third ball of the run chase. To add to his woes, he had also dropped a quite simple catch late in Rajasthan Royals’ innings.

Dhawal Kulkarni – 1/10

Kulkarni was quite successful with the new ball for Gujarat Lions last season but with the unhelpful surfaces in Jaipur, Rajasthan might just want to rethink picking him in the starting XI. In yet another poor show, Kulkarni conceded 20 in 2 overs with Narine smashing him for three fours on the trot.

Jaydev Unadkat – 1/10

The Rs 11.5 crore price tag now seems a joke for Unadkat after the left-arm seamer produced yet another disgraceful performance on a surface where his cutters and slower balls could have been employed better.