After suffering back-to-back losses in IPL 2020, the Rajasthan Royals will look to return to winning ways when they battle the Mumbai Indians in their next match. The Jaipur-based franchise kicked off the season in style with two excellent performances at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Rajasthan Royals have lost two matches on the trot in IPL 2020
The Royals have received a massive boost as their star all-rounder Ben Stokes has landed in the UAE and will be available to play after undergoing the mandatory 6-day quarantine and passing the COVID-19 tests. RR will have to manage two more games without Stokes' services, and the first one is against MI on Tuesday.
Since the Royals have not fired on all cylinders in their recent outings, here are three changes that could help them give the Mumbai Indians a run for their money.
3. Varun Aaron for Riyan Parag
Rising Indian all-rounder Riyan Parag got an opportunity to showcase his talent in RR's first four IPL 2020 games. The youngster had impressed fans with his performances last season, but he has aggregated only 23 runs this season.
Since the Rajasthan Royals have eight other decent batting options in their lineup, they can afford to drop an all-rounder for a fast bowler.
Varun Aaron picked up four wickets in five matches for RR during the 2019 season. His spell of 2/20 helped him win the Man of the Match award against KKR. Aaron's pace could trouble the MI batsmen at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, so he deserves a place in the RR playing XI for their next IPL 2020 game.
2. Yashasvi Jaiswal for Robin Uthappa
The Kolkata Knight Riders released the former Orange Cap winner Robin Uthappa ahead of the IPL 2020 season and the Rajasthan Royals signed the right-handed batsman during the 2020 IPL auction.
The team management would have expected the seasoned pro to stabilise the middle order, but his performances have been disappointing thus far. Uthappa has scored just 33 runs in four games at a strike rate of 78.57.
Captain Steve Smith should consider batting in the middle order because he generally does not open the innings in T20 cricket. Smith's demotion would allow Yashasvi Jaiswal to return to the side as an opener. Jaiswal had been phenomenal for India in the U-19 World Cup played earlier this year.
Although he could not get going against the Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah, he can still be backed to perform in the upcoming matches. The left hand-right hand combination of Jaiswal and Jos Buttler could provide a solid start for RR.
1. Kartik Tyagi for Jaydev Unadkat
The Rajasthan Royals signed another member of the Indian U-19 team during the IPL 2020 auction in right-arm fast bowler Kartik Tyagi for a price of INR 1.30 crores.
The right-arm medium-fast pacer was the 2nd highest wicket-taker for India in the U-19 World Cup, with 11 wickets in six matches and he has the talent to trouble batsmen with his bowling ability in IPL 2020.
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The RR team management should end its persistence with Jaydev Unadkat now. The left-arm fast bowler has only picked up one wicket in four IPL 2020 games so far. Besides, Unadkat had leaked 46 runs in the last fixture between MI and RR and was the most expensive bowler in the match.