Chennai Super Kings made a rousing start to their Pune stint, their home for the remainder of this season, with a thumping win over Rajasthan Royals. Buoyed by a century from Shane Watson and some smart bowling, Chennai thumped a clueless Rajasthan outfit, which appears to have a miserable batting order. Here's rating the performance of all the players on a scale of 1-10.
Shane Watson - 10/10
Few gave Watson a chance at CSK after his deplorable show at Royal Challengers Bangalore last season. However, Watson proved his critics wrong by smashing the second ton of the IPL season in a display of brute power and astute gameplay. He returned to bowl an economical spell with the ball to cap off a great day.
Shardul Thakur - 10/10
Criticised severely for his no-show, Thakur put in an inspired performance, wherein he started off well with the ball and ended with a truly magnificent return catch to get rid of Stuart Binny.
Suresh Raina - 9/10
Returning from an injury that forced him to miss his first match for CSK, Raina was in pristine touch as he and Watson went on the rampage in seven overs to cause complete mayhem. His 29-ball 46 gave Watson the freedom to play his natural game and set the platform for a great Chennai performance.
Shreyas Gopal - 9/10
Even as the Watson show rained on Pune, Gopal put up a fabulous performance with the ball and put a lid on Chennai’s scoring rate late in the innings. His 3/20 prevented CSK from racing to 230, which appeared a realistic possibility at one stage.
Deepak Chahar - 8/10
On a pitch with life in it, Chahar used the knuckle ball to great effect. He nearly had Ajinkya Rahane lbw before dismissing Sanju Samson with a short-pitched delivery. Chahar returned to nail the Rajasthan skipper with a knuckle ball and finished with impressive figures of 2/30.
Dwayne Bravo - 8/10
Bravo, for once promoted above Ravindra Jadeja, played the perfect slogger's role as he raced to a 16-ball 24 to take Chennai past the psychological mark of 200. He returned with the ball to cut short the Ben Stokes-Jos Buttler stand and added Rahul Tripathi to his list of scalps to finish with 2/16.
Karn Sharma - 7/10
The leg-spinner had little work to do but capped off the night by sealing Chennai's victory with back-to-back wickets, something which could earn him a longer run in the side.
Ben Stokes - 6/10
Not Stokes’ best day with the ball but he showed glimpses of returning back to form with the bat and this augers well for Rajasthan, who have struggled to find the right guys in the middle order.
Jos Buttler - 4/10
His stay at the crease was short and sweet but Buttler showcased what he is capable of doing, if used better. A higher position in the batting order beckons if Buttler can stick to his guns and play his natural game.
Ben Laughlin - 4/10
Laughlin had been a tad expensive in previous games, and although he went for 38 in four overs, broke the budding opening partnership to give RR an avenue to attack but sadly none of the other bowlers could follow the lead.
Ambati Rayudu - 3/10
Rayudu started off well as an opener but one feels he could possibly do a better job in the middle order after a good start that he threw away.
MS Dhoni - 2/10
Though he promoted himself to No 4, Dhoni couldn't make much of an impact as he fell slogging off Gopal.
Imran Tahir - 2/10
The leg-spinner had a poor day on a surface where he has traditionally revelled. He went at 11 an over even as Chennai completed a dominating victory over Rajasthan in their adopted home, Pune.
Heinrich Klaasen - 1/10
Brought into the side in place of D’Arcy Short, Klaasen was bizarrely used as an opener and ended up playing an odd shot to be bowled off Thakur.
Ajinkya Rahane - 1/10
The Rajasthan skipper was terrible with his decision making at Pune and ended up costing his side big. From using Krishnappa Gowtham against a slew of right-handers to opening with Klaasen, Rahane got it all wrong and followed it with a poor show with the bat.
Jaydev Unadkat - 1/10
Unadkat’s horror show continued as he once again went wicketless and conceded at more than nine an over. It has reached a point where dropping him from the XI might not be a bad idea at all.
Sanju Samson - 1/10
In a repeat of his dismissal last game, Samson pulled straight to the deep fielder off Chahar early in Rajasthan's run chase. While his season has ballooned to a great start, Samson will want to make it count with better shot selection.
Sam Billings - 1/10
Billings may have been the hero of one of Chennai’s best wins this season but he has a profound weakness against spin and Gopal exploited it in a good spell of spin bowling.
Stuart Binny - 1/10
Picked for the first time this season, Binny put in an uninspiring show, going at 16.5 runs per over after opening the attack.
Krishnappa Gowtham - 1/10
With just one left-hander in CSK’s top-six, Gowtham failed to contain the scoring rate like usual and ended up conceding at over 11 an over.
Rahul Tripathi - 1/10
Wasted down the order, Tripathi has been poor this season but Rajasthan should re-think their idea of using him in the middle order, especially since they have struggled to complement Rahane at the top.
*Ravindra Jadeja wasn't rated because he had a minimal role on the match
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor