Where they finished in IPL 2020
The Rajasthan Royals finished last in the previous season despite being in contention till their final league game.
The side was a touch inconsistent but picked up in the latter half.
A heavy defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders ended their season and pushed their net run rate behind the already eliminated Chennai Super Kings.
This season, they will be playing under a new captain and may also miss Jofra Archer’s services, who is injured.
The Rajasthan Royals contain one of the more expensive batting line-ups in the league and can play in various roles.
Though they couldn’t settle on an opening pair last season, the side has a wide range of players who can bat at the top.
The issue faced by the Royals is continuity.
They have a strong line-up but keep chopping and changing, which leads to inconsistency.
They tried five different opening combinations and kept shifting the players.
The powerplay batting was not good enough, and they lacked match-winning performances throughout the season.
This season they released Steve Smith, and Sanju Samson will be leading the side.
Jos Butler’s and Sanju Samson’s form in IPL 2020 was another issue.
Sanju Samson began the IPL in excellent form but could not carry his momentum forward.
He had a dull period before getting his tournament back on track towards the end.
Along with Samson, Jos Buttler did not manage to get going.
He started the season at the top order, but after some low scores, moved down to the middle.
He had some excellent knocks but was not as consistent as the Rajasthan Royals would have liked.
With Smith out of the side, Rajasthan Royals will be hoping Jos Buttler comes good.
He is an essential overseas player along with Ben Stokes and is a core member of the side.
Barring Stokes, Samson, and Buttler, Rajasthan Royals have a wide range of middle-order options.
They bought Shivam Dube, and Chris Morris in the auctions, while David Miller remains an option who has been unused so far.
With Steve Smith not in the side, David Miller may get a proper crack in the side and provide more firepower.
Young Yashasvi Jaiswal and Liam Livingstone are also members of the side and have been in good touch.
Last season Rajasthan Royals also unveiled a new finisher.
Rahul Tewatia came into the light after a turnaround inning against Kings XI Punjab.
The innings boosted his confidence big time and propelled him as a finisher in the IPL.
Last season the bowling was carried by Jofra Archer.
He finished as the season’s Most Valuable Player.
Barring him, the Rajasthan Royals struggled to find a bite in the bowling.
The fast bowler is likely to miss the first four games and possibly more, but they seem to have some cover with Mustafizur Rahman in the squad.
Rahman, along with Chris Morris, may share the Death over duties, while Kartik Tyagi proved to support the latter stages of IPL 2020.
Tyagi was impressive, but the other Indian pacers like Jaydev Unadkat were not up to the mark.
Along with the above pace options, Rajasthan Royals have Ben Stokes, who can chip in with a fair share of overs himself.
He recently shouldered the responsibility as England’s second pacer in a Test match and did a fair job.
The spin attack is likely to consist of Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia, who also picked up on his bowling along with his batting.
Young player to watch out for:
Kartik Tyagi did an excellent job in his debut IPL season, supporting Jofra Archer nicely.
He enjoyed his debut season and is now back after spending time with the Indian team as a net bowler.
Traveling to Australia and being in contention for a Test debut may have boosted his confidence, giving him more spark in IPL 2021.
- Ben Stokes
- Yashasvi Jaiswal
- Sanju Samson
- Jos Butler
- Shivam Dube
- Riyan Parag
- Chris Morris
- Rahul Tewatia
- Jofra Archer/Mustafizur Rahman
- Shreyas Gopal
- Kartik Tyagi