Rajasthan Royals had a forgetful IPL last season as they finished at the bottom of the points table. A last-place finish prompted the owners and management to make some major changes to the side as they decided to release skipper Steve Smith. The appointment of young Sanju Samson as the new skipper came as a welcome decision, seen by many as a move to build a team for the future.
Due to these changes in the setup, Rajasthan Royals might not be the favorites for the IPL trophy but can surely be the dark horses in the upcoming season.
Here we analyze 3 reasons why Rajasthan are the dark horses in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.
#1 All-rounders in abundance for Rajasthan
Rajasthan Royals have multiple all-rounders in their ranks this season. If Ben Stokes was the go-to man for the Royals in prior seasons, they have addressed this area of concern by adding the likes of Shivam Dube and Chris Morris to the side.
Shivam Dube, who has had a start-stop journey with the RCB, will be looking to play the role of aggressor in the middle-order for his new franchise. Chris Morris, whose primary role will be to combine with Jofra Archer to strengthen the bowling department, can come in handy with the bat as well whenever the Royals are looking for some quick runs at the death.
Add to that the explosive Rahul Tewatiya at the lower-order and Ben Stokes at the top, Rajasthan surely looks to be a side that has an abundance of depth with both bat and ball.
#2 Balanced batting-order
Rajasthan has a solid batting order at their disposal despite letting go of the experienced Steve Smith. One major concern for the franchise in the previous edition was their over-dependence on a few individuals. They seem to have somewhat plugged that gap this season and it will be interesting to see how the batsmen fare in the upcoming event.
The top order looks good for the Royals as Ben Stokes and Yashasvi Jaiswal look set to open the innings followed by skipper Samson at number 3. With the likes of Riyan Parag, Jos Buttler, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatiya, and Chris Morris making up the middle and lower-order, their batting looks to have ample fire-power.
#3 Blend of youth along with experienced overseas campaigners
The fact that Rajasthan let go of their two former skippers in the last 2 years (Ajinkya Rahane before IPL 2020 and Steve Smith before the upcoming edition) has shown that they are not scared to shake things up. The franchise has invested in young Indian players in the form of opener Jaiswal, Parag, Dube, and pacer Kartik Tyagi.
The fact that there are no big Indian names brings in a good opportunity for these young Indian cricketers who have shown promise at the under-19 level. Their presence, along with the experienced overseas campaigners, will bring in a more fearless approach to the side and will help the team in the long run.
Samson, who has been rewarded for his consistency in the IPL, will be looking to use the blend of youth and experience to turn the fortunes of Rajasthan Royals.