Since winning the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) under Shane Warne's captaincy, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) are yet to make the final of the cash-rich tournament. However, the team, which has often been written off at the start of each IPL, has managed to qualify for the playoffs many times.
RR have unearthed a pool of young Indian talent such as Sanju Samson, and look set to do the same this year with the likes of Kartik Tyagi, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Riyan Parag in their side.
Players RR might regret letting go of ahead of IPL 2020
RR made some bold calls ahead of the 2020 IPL auction. They released Oshane Thomas and Jaydev Unadkat, only to buy them back in the auction.
These 3 players, however, won't be playing for the 2008 IPL champions this season, and their absence might be felt.
#3 Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone showed glimpses of what he is capable of when he played for RR in the 2019 IPL, with an explosive 44 off just 26 balls the stand-out in the 4 games that he played. The Englishman, however, was released by RR ahead of the 2020 IPL auction and then chose to withdraw his name from the IPL auction pool to focus on earning a Test cap.
While it is not certain whether Livingstone would have played for RR had he not been released, he would've certainly been a valuable addition to the squad with his big hitting and handy leg-spin. The 27-year-old has proven himself in the T20 Blast and the Big Bash League, and given opportunities, could shine in the IPL as well.
Livingstone would've been all but guaranteed a spot in the playing XI at least for the first game, with the availability of Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler uncertain owing to international commitments.
RR might need an attacking batsman, and might regret letting the Lancashire man go.
#2 Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham has had his moments in the IPL, but hasn't exactly set the stage on fire with his performances. The all-rounder is just 22 games into his IPL career, only with 144 runs and 12 wickets to his name.
But still, given his accuracy and ability to bowl in the powerplay, RR could've greatly benefited from his presence in the UAE. Steve Smith's side currently lack an IPL-tested off-spinner, with the three main spinners being leggies Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia.
Gowtham will play for his Karnataka teammate KL Rahul's Kings XI Punjab, who also have a host of players from the same state on their roster. The 31-year-old might just have a breakthrough season in the 2020 IPL among a bunch of familiar faces.
RR, on the other hand, might be left to rue letting Gowtham go.
#1 Ajinkya Rahane
Perhaps the most shocking trade that RR made ahead of the 2020 IPL auction, former captain Ajinkya Rahane was traded to the Delhi Capitals. This is a trade that doesn't really augur well for both RR and Rahane.
RR managed to snap up Robin Uthappa and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the auction, and also have dashing opener Rahul Tripathi, but the Indian Test vice-captain brings a lot more to the side than his batting. Rahane could have been the perfect foil for Jos Buttler at the top of the order, and could've played the anchor role like he has done so often for the franchise in the past.
Unfortunately for Rahane, his trade to DC doesn't make much sense as well. Shreyas Iyer's side have a stacked top order that features the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, apart from England opener Jason Roy. With Dhawan often approaching his innings in the same way as Rahane and Shaw all but guaranteed to play, the Mumbai batsman could be relegated to the bench.
The 32-year-old is an electric fielder and saves 10 runs each time he steps onto the ground. Rahane is a complete package, and trading him away might be one of RR's poorer decisions.
Published 26 Aug 2020, 13:00 IST