Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008. However, since then, the Jaipur-based franchise have not made it to a single IPL final. They have managed to qualify for the IPL playoffs a few times but they have failed to cross the final hurdles.
RR finished in the bottom half of the points table during the last three seasons. With the aim of winning the IPL 2022 championship, the Rajasthan Royals have assembled a stellar squad comprising some big names.
The IPL team management bid heavily for the experienced stars at the IPL 2022 mega-auction. Interestingly, they also signed three such players who produced match-winning performances against the Rajasthan Royals last season. We take a look at three such names.
#3 Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal decimated the RR bowling attack last year during the match at the Wankhede Stadium. Opening the innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Padikkal scored 101 runs off 52 deliveries, smashing 11 fours and six sixes.
He outshone his IPL captain Virat Kohli in that run-chase of 178 runs. Padikkal and Kohli stitched up an unbeaten 181-run stand to guide RCB to a 10-wicket win in Mumbai.
RCB surprisingly released Padikkal ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction. RR secured his services for the upcoming season with a massive bid of ₹7.75 crores.
Click here to view the full list of IPL Team Owners 2022.
#2 Nathan Coulter-Nile
Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile registered his best IPL figures of 4/14 during a league game against the Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 season. Coulter-Nile dismissed Yashasvi Jaiswal, Glenn Phillips, David Miller and Chetan Sakariya in a dream spell as MI restricted RR to 90/9.
Despite his impressive performance in IPL 2021, the Mumbai-based franchise did not retain Coulter-Nile ahead of the mega auction. Interestingly, not a single team except RR showed interest in securing the Australian pacer's services at the IPL 2022 Auction.
RR stole Coulter-Nile's services at his base price of ₹2 crores. Fans should note that Coulter-Nile was sold for ₹5 crores at the IPL 2021 auction.
#1 James Neesham
In the same match, New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham returned with figures of 3/12. He dismissed the trio of Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia, backing up Nathan Coulter-Nile to perfection.
The duo of Coulter-Nile and Neesham will don the Rajasthan jersey in IPL 2022. It will be exciting to see if they get enough game time this year. Last year, the Mumbai Indians did not use them much. However, both Coulter-Nile and Neesham can emerge as match-winners for RR if given the proper opportunities.
Another New Zealand player who has switched from Mumbai Indians to RR ahead of IPL 2022 is Trent Boult. The Kiwi speedster will continue playing alongside Neesham and Coulter-Nile in IPL 2022.
Q. Should RR play both Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Neesham in their playing XI this year?
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