The Rajasthan Royals (RR) come into the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a more balanced squad than usual. RR have always been known as the franchise which nurtured young talent and gave them a platform to showcase their abilities, and that often meant sacrificing on quality overseas players.
However, RR come into IPL 2020 with more firepower and a good blend of youth and experience. With expectations low and the services of some of the best cricketers in the world at their disposal, RR would aim to at least finish in the top 4 and qualify for the play-offs.
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In this article, we carefully analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the RR squad ahead of IPL 2020.
RR in IPL 2020: Strengths
#1 RR have a solid overseas contingent
In Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, RR have one of the best overseas contingents in IPL 2020. There is little to no doubt regarding who their first four overseas choices will be, and this will take much of the pressure off the team management to select the best XI.
Tom Curran, Andrew Tye, Oshane Thomas and David Miller are solid backups, and all 4 players have proven their mettle in the T20 format. In the expected absence of Ben Stokes, one of these 4 players - the likely choice is Tom Curran due to his all-round abilities - could make a mark on IPL 2020.
#2 RR have an excellent top order
Another aspect of RR's IPL 2020 roster that stands out is the number of top-order batsmen at their disposal. Jos Buttler has been their most consistent performers with the bat over the past couple of seasons, while Sanju Samson would love to open the innings.
RR also have 2020 U-19 World Cup hero Yashasvi Jaiswal and experienced Indian batter Robin Uthappa to call upon. Even former Australian captain Steve Smith, who is ideally suited to the No. 3 role in the T20 format, might have to drop down one spot.
Manan Vohra, who has played a number of splendid innings in the IPL, is another option on the bench.
#3 RR have a good blend of youth and experience
The acquisition of Robin Uthappa and the presence of T20 stalwarts like Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat and David Miller means that RR have a number of experienced players who can guide the youngsters - Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Anuj Rawat and Riyan Parag.
This has been a hallmark of RR teams over the past decade in the IPL, and this will continue to serve them well this year.