Who should have won Player of the Match: Steven Smith or Shreyas Gopal?

Shreyas Gopal foxed Rohit Sharma with a googly BCCI

Steven Smith was the official choice for Player of the Match, but he wasn't the player who contributed the most to Rajasthan Royals' win over Mumbai Indians, according to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats. Smith played a steady hand to guide his team over the rope in what was, in the end, a modest chase despite some late wickets.

But Smart Stats rates Shreyas Gopal's performance higher than that of the new Royals captain. Shreyas gave away just 21 runs in his four overs, one of which came in the Powerplay. His Smart Economy Rate in the match was just 2.25.

Smart Economy Rate takes into account the over phases in which a bowler bowls, the quality of the batsmen he bowls to, and the pressure on the bowler.

Shreyas' wickets earned him extra value too. He dismissed the Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma early on, and later took out a well-entrenched Quinton de Kock. Both wickets earned Shreyas additional wicket value, even though de Kock had scored 65 by the time he was dismissed. The reason is, Smart Stats also considers the potential damage a settled batsman could inflict, given enough time left in the innings.

Overall, Shreyas' bowling performance earned him the highest impact value of 67.2, and thus the highest contribution for any Royals player in the match.

Smith, interestingly, wasn't among the top three players to contribute to Royals' win. Riyan Parag's 29-ball 43 earned him a batting impact value of 55.9. Although he was expensive with the ball, conceding 17 off his two overs, his overall impact value in the match of 53.2 was the second-highest for Royals. Sanju Samson's 19-ball 35 was worth six runs more in the context of the match and earned him third place in terms of the contribution.

Smart Stats reckons that Royals had enough batting left in their line-up to chip in with a performance similar to that of Smith, and that's why his contribution only came out fourth-best at 19.1%.