The Jaipur-based franchise released last year's skipper Steve Smith, and named Sanju Samson as their new captain for IPL 2021. They also let go of a few of their seam bowlers, and traded Robin Uthappa to the Chennai Super Kings.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Ashish Nehra and Aakash Chopra shared their thoughts on the Rajasthan Royals' possible strategy in the IPL 2021 auction.
Nehra observed that the inaugural IPL champions are thin on fast bowling resources. So they might look to acquire Umesh Yadav or Shivam Dube to replenish that department.
"Rajasthan Royals definitely need domestic fast bowlers. They have Jaydev Unadkat and Kartik Tyagi, but IPL is a long tournament. So they could look towards Umesh Yadav if they want experience. Shivam Dube also has some experience, as the mini-auction is about a quick fix where you look for one year," said the former Indian pacer.
The cricketer-turner-commentator believes the Royals took a wrong decision by releasing Ankit Rajpoot and Tom Curran ahead of the IPL 2021 auction.
"They left few fast bowlers, Ankit Rajpoot and Tom Curran. The franchises should not forget that this is a mini-auction. It is necessary to see what options you have if you leave Ankit Rajpoot. They may go towards Umesh Yadav, who has been left by RCB, but it is important to back your players in this format," added Nehra.
"Rajasthan Royals should pick an overseas fast bowler" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra reckons the Rajasthan Royals should look for an overseas pacer due to the lack of Indian seam-bowling options at the auction.
"Their three overseas slots are already fixed - Buttler, Stokes and Archer. I would say they should pick an overseas fast bowler because there is not much supply of Indian fast bowlers. They have left Varun Aaron and Ankit Rajpoot, and it will not make a big difference if they get someone else. Umesh Yadav also does not play all the 14 matches," said Chopra.
The former KKR player also questioned the Rajasthan Royals' decision to trade Robin Uthappa to CSK, considering the inexperience of their Indian batting lineup.
"They need Indian batsmen. I was surprised why they let Robin Uthappa go. They have Yashasvi Jaiswal, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia and Mahipal Lomror, but which of these names will frighten you? So when Robin Uthappa was there, they should have kept him because none of the teams have left an Indian batsman at the auction," concluded Chopra.
The Rajasthan Royals finished last in IPL 2020. They were particularly hampered by their lack of depth in the batting and seam-bowling departments. The Royals will hope to replenish these two areas at the auction on Thursday.