A shellacking at the hands of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 saw the Rajasthan Royals (RR) finish with the wooden spoon for the season. In a season where they had glaring issues of team composition and balance, RR were never really in the hunt despite having the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Jofra Archer, in their ranks.
Rahul Tewatia followed up his brilliant underdog performance with a few more heartening all-round efforts to cement his place in RR's plans for next season. The team cannot do without Archer or Jos Buttler and seem to rely heavily on Ben Stokes' occasional brilliance despite his weak overall IPL record. Shreyas Gopal and Kartik Tyagi, too, should hold down their place.
However, there were certain departments where RR had huge disappointments, apart from collectively failing in a few games. Here are the five players RR should release ahead of the auction.
#5 Varun Aaron (IPL 2019-2020)
RR signed former India pacer Varun Aaron in the 2019 auctions to support their misfiring pace bowling unit. The 31-year old set RR back by INR 2.4 crore, without really having a solid IPL track record to boast of - barring 16 wickets in 10 games in 2014, Aaron has never bagged more than 10 wickets in any season.
In 2020, RR desperately cycled through their fast bowling reserves as all of them conceded runs at astronomical economy rates. Aaron endured three wicketless games this IPL season, with a poor economy rate of 11.75. It remains to be seen if franchises will show interest in the pacer who has done little to demand a high bid.
#4 Andrew Tye (IPL 2020)
A breathtaking start to his IPL career - a fifer for the Gujarat Lions - seems a distant reality for Andrew Tye ahead of the 2021 IPL Auction. After a good debut season, Tye won the Purple Cap with 24 wickets in 2018, as one of the lone shining lights in Kings XI Punjab's dismal campaign.
Since then, Tye has been extremely expensive, with his variations exposed and his pace and accuracy insufficient at times. In the 2020 season, Tye played just once, getting carted for 50 runs in his four overs. Not hot property for the national team anymore, Tye will struggle to find takers next season.