IPL 2018: 4 strategic blunders that have placed Rajasthan Royals on the verge of elimination
After the completion of the IPL auction earlier this year, the Rajasthan Royals looked like one of the most formidable teams in the competition, at least on paper. However, after 13 games, they find themselves standing one precipice of elimination and their last game has now become a must-win one. It should never have come to that due to the sheer riches in their squad and despite losing Steve Smith for reasons everyone knows, RR looked like one of those teams who were going to be in the playoffs. They can still qualify through by winning their last game and hoping for the results to go their way. However, that should never have been the case.
So, how did this come about? Other than some ordinary performances, a large part of the blame for RR’s predicament lies in the strategic blunders they have committed throughout the tournament and those have eventually piled up to land them in the soup they are in right now. Anyway, here is a look at the key strategic blunders that have cost them dearly so far.
#4 Ben Stokes’ usage as a batsman
Last season Ben Stokes was the player of the tournament in the IPL and despite the fact that he had missed out on cricket coming into this year’s tournament, it was expected that he would do well. The sort of natural talent that he possesses makes him a player who can overcome such obstacles but things have not turned out well for him as a batsman and that has been a problem for RR.
In particular, it is England player’s troubles against spin that has been his biggest problem and instead of trying to find a solution to the problem, RR have stuck to sending him to bat in the middle-order. He was sent up to open the innings only once and considering the fact that he likes to play against the faster bowler, RR should have used Stokes against the new ball. Even if he was not being sent up as an opener, he could at least have batted at number 3 and it could well have been a very different story.