3 things Rajasthan Royals failed to address at the IPL 2024 Auction

Rajasthan Royals (RR) bought just five players at the IPL 2024 Auction (Picture Credits: BCCI).
Rajasthan Royals (RR) bought just five players at the IPL 2024 Auction (Picture Credits: BCCI).

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) bought the least number of players at the recently concluded IPL 2024 Auction on Tuesday, December 19, adding just five new names to their roster.

The Sanju Samson-led outfit made the first purchase of the day when they went all out for West Indian T20I skipper Rovman Powell and bagged him for ₹7.4 crore. Their next big buy saw them break the bank for Vidarbha's middle-order batter Shubham Dubey, shelling out ₹5.8 crore.

RR then secured three other players at base price - Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Nandre Burger and Abid Mushtaq - ahead of IPL 2024.

While the team made the final in 2022, they narrowly fell short of the playoffs earlier this year despite beginning with a bang. A glance at their squad tells you that they wear a strong look, although there are a couple of question marks which they haven't necessarily answered.

Let's take a look at three things that RR failed to address at the IPL 2024 Auction.


#1 RR still lack a frontline fast-bowling all-rounder

Despite releasing Jason Holder, RR haven't managed to secure a like-for-like replacement (File image; AP).
Despite releasing Jason Holder, RR haven't managed to secure a like-for-like replacement (File image; AP).

A frontline fast-bowling all-rounder's absence was felt during the Royals' run to the final of IPL 2022. They managed to correct it with the signing of Jason Holder for the 2023 season, but after failing to extract the best out of him, they released him ahead of the IPL 2024 Auction.

As it turns out, though, RR continue to lack that reliable frontline all-rounder. They went all-out for Powell, who can at best chip in with an over of dibbly-dobbly medium-pace even as he bolsters the batting lineup.

Once again, it might come down to Ravichandran Ashwin to play the pinch-hitter's role if required. The team must not find themselves in a situation similar to the one last year, where Trent Boult was listed to bat at No. 8 in a game against the Gujarat Titans (GT) before an early collapse forced them to bring a batter in as an impact substitute.

Another solution to ensure they don't fall short in either department is more bowling for Riyan Parag, who has been picking up wickets regularly with his off-spin for Assam. If that happens, the Royals can sub in a specialist bowler for the second innings and manage to pull along without that frontline all-rounder.

But given that there were decent options like David Wiese and Dwaine Pretorius who were available on a budget, the Royals could have targeted these players at the IPL 2024 Auction.


#2 RR don't have a backup for Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin could don the role of RR's frontline all-rounder again in IPL 2024 (Picture Credits: Getty).
Ravichandran Ashwin could don the role of RR's frontline all-rounder again in IPL 2024 (Picture Credits: Getty).

Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal have combined forces to form the nucleus of the Royals' wicket-taking force in the last two IPL seasons. They will don the same roles again in 2024.

With Ashwin assuming a lot of batting responsibility, as well as the obvious lack of a bona fide all-rounder, RR could have looked to seal a backup for the Indian legend. Hrithik Shokeen, who was part of the Mumbai Indians (MI) for a couple of seasons, was a like-for-like option available at the IPL 2024 Auction who the Royals could have turned to. But they didn't.

The Royals did sign Abid Mushtaq of Jammu and Kashmir, but he provides variety of a different kind in that he bowls left-arm spin. While it is a handy variety to have, a like-for-like backup for Ashwin would have given them more insurance in case of an emergency.


#3 RR could've secured a backup for Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler have established themselves as an electrifying opening combination at the top of the order for the Royals for two seasons now. They will be donning the same role again in IPL 2024 and will be tasked with getting the team off to a rollicking start.

While opening is considered the easier of the batting roles to execute in T20s, a player of Jaiswal's caliber could do with a backup. While the Royals secured one for Buttler in the form of his countryman Tom Kohler-Cadmore, they couldn't quite do so for Jaiswal.

The Indian batting backups in the side are Shubham Dubey and wicket-keeper Kunal Singh Rathore, both of whom bat in the middle order. Parag and Dhruv Jurel are expected to start in the XI, and with just 22 players on their roster, RR have the thinnest squad for IPL 2024.

Another opening batter who could have slotted in directly for Jaiswal as injury insurance is something that the Royals should have looked to find. But after running out of funds, it wasn't to be.


Can the Rajasthan Royals go all the way and win IPL 2024? Have your say in the comments section below!


Also read: 3 reasons why CSK signing Shardul Thakur at the IPL 2024 Auction is a smart move

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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