IPL 2019: Ranking the middle order batsmen of the 8 IPL teams
The IPL 2019 auctions have decided the final look of the eight IPL teams, and the only thing left to see is what happens in the trading window which is now open. Teams lacking in middle order resources may choose to trade in a few good batsmen from the teams that have a surplus of that breed.
The middle order is the crux based on which a team can go from being a decent side to an excellent one. Even if you have the best opening batsmen in the world, you still need good middle order batsmen to continue the starts to their logical finish.
It is for this reason that middle order batsmen are valued all over the world and rated highly. The same is true with the IPL too.
In this article, we will try to analyze the middle order batsmen of all the 8 IPL teams and see which teams have an advantage over others.
#8 Rajasthan Royals
Possible middle order options available for Rajasthan
1. Steve Smith
2. Sanju Samson
3. Ben Stokes
4. Rahul Tripathi
5. Aryaman Birla
6. Prashant Chopra
7. Mahipal Lomror
8. Liam Livingstone
9. Shashank Singh
10. Riyan Parag
Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi might be the preferred middle order to support the Rahane-Buttler opening combination. But the risk arises when three among the six players stated above leave midway for international duty.
By taking a quick look at the reserves squad and the players bought by Rajasthan in the auctions, we have to assume that the team management was not aware that Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes might be leaving midway through the league. Instead of buying covers in the form of middle order overseas batsmen, Rajasthan have bought 2 all-rounders in Liam Livingstone and Ashton Turner, apart from fast bowler Oshane Thomas.
Livingstone seems to be the only decent replacement for Smith or Stokes, while Turner is primarily a bowling all-rounder - similar to what Jofra Archer is.
Overall Rajasthan have a pretty good team lineup until the trio leaves. After that, it's up to the Indian backups to come good in the middle order.
Rajasthan could have easily got an above average rating with Smith and Stokes in the middle order. But their absence in the later stages makes the team an average one.