Dhawal Kulkarni is an Indian cricketer, born on 10th December 1988, in erstwhile Bombay, now Mumbai, India. He is primarily a right-arm medium pace bowler and bats right-handed in the tail end of the batting order.
Kulkarni first came into limelight during the 2005-06 Vijay Merchant Trophy when he was playing for the Mumbai Under-17 team.
His good performances continued in the Under-19 level as a result of which he was picked in the India Under-19 squad selected to tour Sri Lanka in 2007.
His good performances in Sri Lanka resulted in a berth in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team. He picked up 42 wickets in his debut season and was the tournament’s most successful bowler.
In the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season, Kulkarni played an important role behind Mumbai’s 40th title win. He took 5/33 against Services in the semi-final and followed it up with 4/24 and 5/32 against Saurashtra in the final as Mumbai won by an innings and 125 runs.
Dhawal Kulkarni made his debut for India in the ODI format against England at Edgbaston in 2014. He had figures of 0/35 in his 7 overs. He was dropped for the following game. He was not picked in the next ODI series against West Indies at home as well.
Kulkarni made his T20I debut for India against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2016. He took the solitary wicket of Graeme Cremer in his four overs. He played the next T20I as well against Zimbabwe and picked 2/23 in four overs.
Rise to Glory
Soon after being dropped for the home series against West Indies, Kulkarni made a comeback in the consequent Sri Lanka series. He finished the series taking seven wickets in 3 games, being the third highest wicket taker of the series, inspite of not playing all the games.
Dhawal Kulkarni’s rise continued in the Indian Premier League as well. After impressing in the first IPL in 2008 where he scalped 10 wickets, he found it difficult to cement a regular spot in the Mumbai Indians team and later in the Rajasthan Royals team.
In 2016, he appeared for the Gujarat Lions franchise and performed admirably for them in their first season. He took part in all the 14 league games and took 18 wickets with a best of 4/14.
Kulkarni has suffered quite a few injuries since his breakthrough 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season which has made it very hard to cement his spot in the Indian national team.
He hardly figured for his Ranji Trophy team Mumbai in the consequent few seasons as a result of the injuries. His consistent injuries have had a huge impact on a Mumbai team in transition following the retirements and exits of high profile stalwarts.
Dhawal Kulkarni played for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League since the tournament’s inception in 2008. He was bought by the Rajasthan Royals in the 2014 IPL auctions.
Following the suspension of the franchise in 2016, he was picked by the new franchise Gujarat Lions in the consequent auction. In the 2018 IPL Player Retention Ceremony, he was not retained by the returning Rajasthan Royals franchise.
He was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs. 75 lakhs in the IPL 2018 auction.