Under a new captain in Sanju Samson, RR will look to get the best out of the plethora of all-rounders at their disposal and make a deep run into the playoffs.
Having signed the most expensive player in the history of the IPL auction, Chris Morris for INR 16.25 crores, the 2008 champions come into this year's tournament with a balanced roster. Inevitably, competition for places in the playing XI will be fierce.
RR's squad for IPL 2021: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye, Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, K C Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav and Akash
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Here are 3 quality RR players who might not get a game in IPL 2021.
#3 Anuj Rawat
Anuj Rawat has been exceptional for Delhi in the domestic circuit in the recent past. Batting lower down the order as a finisher, the explosive left-hander played a number of crucial knocks in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Although Rawat seems to be at that stage of his career where he's ready to make the step up to the IPL level, he may not get a game this season. Spots lower down the order for RR are filled by a plethora of all-rounders, with the team capable of fielding as many as 8 bowling options.
Being a keeper, Rawat would have to compete with either Jos Buttler or Sanju Samson, and there's no doubt as to who's winning that battle. The 21-year-old might have to wait a while before he gets opportunities in the IPL.
#2 David Miller
David Miller's IPL career has fallen off drastically over the last few years. In the last part of his stint with the Punjab Kings and his ongoing tryst with the Rajasthan Royals, the South African has struggled to find a place in the playing XI due to issues with both balance and form.
Miller has played a few vital innings in the recent past. He notched up scores of 85* and 25* in the Proteas' T20I series against Pakistan earlier this year, and followed it up with a few unbeaten cameos in the CSA T20 Challenge.
But Miller simply doesn't fit into the combination of the RR playing XI. With Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Morris guaranteed to play, and the fourth overseas player expected to be a pacer, the left-hander has only a very slim chance of playing even a single game.
Miller doesn't bowl as well, and we could see him with a practice vest on throughout IPL 2021.
#1 Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone is right up there with the best T20 players in the world, but he too is unlikely to take to the field for RR in IPL 2021. The Englishman has significant competition in the all-rounders department, and his favourite batting position in T20s - the opening slot - has a number of contenders.
Livingstone was in decent nick for England in the recently concluded ODI series against India, in which he made his debut and scored runs in both matches he played. But he has only 4 IPL matches under his belt, while his overseas colleagues at RR have been part of the squad for a few years now.
Although Livingstone is a T20 match-winner on his day and shone for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League earlier this year, he might find himself on the bench throughout IPL 2021.