Dhawal Sunil Kulkarni
December 10, 1988, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Dhawal Kulkarni, a right-arm medium-pacer, first came into the spotlight after his performances for Mumbai Under-17s in the 2005-06 Vijay Merchant Trophy. Impressive performances at the U-19 state level, including 8 for 47 against Tamil Nadu, earned him a place on the India U-19 tour of Sri Lanka in 2007. He continued the good work there and was rewarded with a spot in Mumbai's side for the Ranji one-dayers in 2008, as well as a contract with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. In his first Ranji season, he emerged the tournament's most successful bowler, taking 42 wickets and invariably providing early breakthroughs for Mumbai, the eventual winners. The dream season continued with his inclusion in the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand in 2009.
He did not get to play a match on the tour, and had to wait another five years to make his international debut, in the fourth ODI during India's tour of England in 2014. He picked up eight wickets at 18.62 in the home ODI series against Sri Lanka later that year, but opportunities since have been scarce, with his only chances in 2015 coming on ODI tours of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
In domestic cricket, however, Kulkarni has established himself as one of the leading seam bowlers in the country, marrying accuracy to new-ball swing, and picking up over 200 first-class wickets. He has invariably performed in big matches: he picked up five-fors in the Ranji Trophy finals of 2008-09, 2012-13 and 2015-16, and helped Mumbai out of a sticky situation with the bat in the 2009-10 final, his second-innings 87 proving critical in a narrow win over Karnataka.
Kulkarni was a fairly regular member of the Mumbai Indians attack in the first five seasons of the IPL, before moving to Rajasthan Royals ahead of the 2013 season and going on to play a consistent role with the new ball for them. With Royals suspended ahead of the 2016 season, Kulkarni was snapped up by the newly launched Gujarat Lions franchise.
Batting & Fielding