Rajasthan Royals : Probable Playing XI and Team Analysis
The much awaited 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is mere few hours away from us as two of the most successful teams in the history of IPL Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians are locking horns against each other on 19th September at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
We have been doing pre-tournament analysis of all 8 teams participating in the tournament. After the analysis of 7 teams including Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, now last but not the least it's time for the analysis of Rajasthan Royals.
The squad of Rajasthan might not look as dangerous as some of the other teams, but you can't underestimate this team. I see RR as the darkhorse at the start of this season. Traditionaly known for backing and nuturing young talents, this team has got great balance between youth and experience for this season.
Jos Buttler is a big name in this lineup. We might see the English wicket keeper batsman open the innings for Rajasthan with another promising young wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson. This tournament can be a crucial moment in the Samson's career. With MS Dhoni retiring from international cricket, there will be eyes on some young Indian wicketkeeper batsmen. Guys like Rishabh Pant, Samson or Ishan Kishan will be looking to put their foot forward and show their class when its required the most.
They can even open the innings with Yashasvi Jaiswal too. The youngster from Mumbai Yashasvi is basically an opening batsman who bowls a bit of leg spin. It will be interesting to see how will the team management uses this young lad. For the time being, I see him batting in middle order while Samson open the innings with Buttler at least for few initial matches. But Yashasvi deserves chances for long run and I hope he gets it too.
Steve Smith will be leading the side and will look to provide that dependability and stability to RR's batting lineup. Smith is a class player and would probably adapt to the playing conditions rather comfortably.
Rajasthan brought in Robin Uthappa in the auction. Uthappa has been someone who has been performing consistently throughout his IPL career and his experience and presence will definetely boost the side.
Anirudha Joshi, Ben Stokes, Mahipal Lomrar, Riyan Parag, Tom Curran, Yashasvi Jaiswal
Ben Stokes and Riyan Parag will be the premier allrounders for the team. Ben Stokes especially will have a huge responsibilty to perform finisher role and provide crucial 4 overs for the team. A lot of Rajasthan's success will rely on how Stokes performs.
Young Riyan Parag just played 7 matches in previous season and impressed with his batting skills lower down the order. Rajasthan will be expecting him to continue doing the same if not better. Along with his hard hitting, the team is expecting more from his leg spin bowling.
Akash Singh, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi, Mayank Markhande, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Oshane Thomas, Varun Aaron
Apart from 2017 season of IPL where he had 24 wickets from 12 matches, Jaydev Unadkat has looked off color in most of his IPL appearances. However, Unadkat is coming back from impressive domestic season as he led his team Saurashtra to their maiden Ranji title finishing with 67 wickets to his name. Varun Aaron is the other option for Rajasthan in pace department.
Jofra Archer is expected to be in playing eleven for his pace and accuracy in bowling and hard hitting down the order. Andrew Tye can be a very effective weapon in the slower pitches of UAE.
Another important name in the lineup will be Mayank Markhande and Shreyas Gopal. The team might even look to go with both these spinners in the playing eleven. Gopal was pretty impressive last season when he dismissed the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. He would be more than happy to be bowling in the spinner friendly pictches in UAE.
Rajasthan Royals Probable Playing XI
- Jos Buttler (wk)
- Sanju Samson
- Robin Uthappa
- Steve Smith (C)
- Manan Vohra / Yashaswi Jaiswal
- Ben Stokes
- Riyan Parag
- Andrew Tye / Jofra Archer
- Varun Aaron / Shreyas Gopal
- Jaydev Unadkat
- Mayank Markande
Player to Watch Out : Riyan Parag and Jos Buttler
I personally expect this team to do decently well this season. They have the experience and capability to do well. Someone like Buttler at the top followed by the class of Steve Smith and presence of finisher like Stokes makes sure that none of the teams would try to underestimate the team.
Not to forget, Rajasthan were the champions of inaugural edition of IPL when no one expected them to lift the title. I feel they might qualify for the playoffs.
The team selection and analysis done is purely personal opinion of the writer.