Rajasthan Royals (RR) have struggled to perform consistently in IPL 2021.
Rajasthan lost their first game of the season by a narrow margin of 4 runs against the Punjab Kings. They beat the Delhi Capitals by a margin of 3 wickets in their second match but visibly struggled in the third, losing out to Chennai Super Kings by 45 runs.
The outcome of a match is mainly governed by the team's performance collectively and not just by one player individually. Rajasthan's poor start to IPL 2021 automatically implies they have a few players in their line-up who have failed to impress.
On that note, we outline 3 changes RR can consider for the remainder of the season.
1. Opening with Yashasvi Jaiswal instead of Manan Vohra
Manan Vohra has failed to impress as an opener in IPL 2021. In 3 innings, he has scored just 35 runs at an average of 11.67. Vohra's inconsistency has been central to his performances since he made his debut in 2013. While he is capable of playing a valuable knock here and there, he averages just 22.76 in his 48 IPL innings. RR can consider sidelining Vohra for their upcoming matches.
Yashasvi Jaiswal is an exciting young prospect in the RR squad. He did not create much impact in the 3 matches he played for the Royals in IPL 2020. However, that might be too small a sample to judge his talent on. He deserves more chances in the playing XI, especially when the team is in need of a stable opener.
2. Mahipal Lomror replacing Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag has not tasted much success in IPL 2021. In 3 innings, he has scored just 30 runs, out of which 25 were scored in the first match. He has picked up a solitary wicket from the 4 overs he has bowled in his three matches combined. Parag hasn't proven to be much of an asset for Rajasthan this season and could be left out of the playing XI for the next few matches.
Management could consider replacing him with Mahipal Lomror. Lomror doesn't have too many IPL credentials to boast of, but he did score an impressive 47 off 28 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore last season.
Lomror showed glimpses of what he is capable of. Besides his batting ability, he can bowl left-arm spin and could hence be the ideal replacement for Parag in the playing XI.
3. A spinner replacing Jaydev Unadkat
RR relied on Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag to bowl spin in the middle overs in their last couple of matches. The team lacks a specialist spinner who can change the course of the game.
Rajasthan dropped Shreyas Gopal after his poor outing in their opening match against the Punjab Kings.
Gopal has had a successful career in IPL cricket thus far, picking up 48 wickets at an average of 25.04. He has been a regular wicket-taking option for RR, especially in the middle-overs. Such players should be given more time to settle in instead of being replaced based on one tough day at the office.
The team can also consider using Mayank Markande in their playing XI. In 17 IPL matches, he has picked up 16 wickets at an average of 26.69.
Jaydev Unadkat hasn't been the most consistent bowler in IPL cricket. He has picked up 84 wickets over his IPL career at an average of 29.49 and an economy rate of 8.75. After impressing in the match against the Delhi Capitals, Undakat leaked runs against the Chennai Super Kings.
RR definitely require a specialist spinner in their playing XI if they wish to assert more control over the game. Going forward, it might be in their best interests to replace Unadkat with one.