IPL 2019: Insights and analysis of Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals are the champions of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The pink city side went on to lift the coveted trophy under the leadership of Shane Warne. Royals have given a lot of brilliant young players to the league throughout their IPL journey. The team's performance graph is filled with ups and downs and unluckily they have not played a single IPL final since 2008.
In the previous season, apart from Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Jofra Archer and Krishnappa Gowtham all other players performed below average. Although they ended 2018 at the fourth place their gameplay was nothing more than decent. Royals will be looking to emulate the glory of their first season ahead of the new season with whatever commodities they have in their tank.
Rajasthan Royals Squad:
Batsmen: Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi, Aryaman Birla, Liam Livingstone, Shashank Singh
Wicketkeepers: Jos Buttler, Prashant Chopra, Sanju Samson
All-rounders: Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shubham Ranjane, Sundhesan Midhun
Bowlers: Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Ish Sodhi, Shreyas Gopal
Royals did not gain much from the recent IPL Auctions held in December and have the weakest squad on papers and might just end up at the bottom of the table this season. The one big issue for them will be to find good replacements for their top three foreign players. Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes will not be available for the latter half of the season.
It will certainly not going to be easy for the Jaipur franchise to qualify for the playoffs this time but who knows what fortunes might hold for them and they might win the trophy. But the probability of that is least compared to the chances of other teams winning it. Fans will be hoping that Jos Buttler emulates his last season heroics to increase their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
In the first-choice eleven, Ajinky Rahane and Jos Buttler will open the innings for the Royals followed by Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Ben Stokes respectively. Stuart Binny or Rahul Tripathi will bat at six with not much good options available. Krishnappa Gowtham will be handy with the bat at seven and with his bowling too. Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Aaron will form their bowling attack.
Jaydev Unadkat with his variations and Aaron with some serious pace could prove lethal for the opposition. The starting eleven looks great but they don't have the good bench strength to compensate when required.
Some of the other players to watch out for in the team are Ish Sodhi, Oshane Thomas, Dhawal Kulkarni and Manan Vohra. Rahane should be preferred as the skipper over Smith because unlike Smith, he will available for the entire season. Jos Buttler could be an option too for that matter.
Probable Starting XI: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Aaron.