The champions of the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals have failed to reach even the finals of the next 11 seasons. Year after year they have languished at the bottom half of the table.
Constant chopping of players, team management and support staff has only led to inconsistency performances by an unsettled team. In fact, trading out India’s Test specialist Ajinkya Rahane after a seven-year tenure had raised eyebrows as they let go off a seasoned campaigner.
On a brighter note, they have a powerful pack of overseas players in the form of Australian Steve Smith and a trio of Englishmen Ben Stokes, Jos Butler, and Jofra Archer. More often than not, it will be these four overseas players who will start for Royals in this season but the newly appointed head coach Andrew McDonald will be keen on having backups for these guys.
As the IPL Auction 2020 comes closer, Insidesport.co looks at what Rajasthan Royals has and what they might target in the auction.
After trading off their seasoned opener Ajinkya Rahane, more opportunities will be given to Punjab’s Manan Vohra at the top of the order along with Jos Butler. Butler will be their preferred choice as an opener even when he plays in the middle order for his national squad. Along with the above two, the Royals have the flair and experience of Steve Smith and Sanju Samson in the middle order. With such high-class overseas players, it will be likely that they will go for more Indian talent rather than targeting the foreign players. The likes of Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Dhruv Shorey, Himmat Singh who have been released plus the young guns like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Priyam Garg will be on the list of Royals management.
Ben Stokes, the BBC Sports Personality of the year, spearheads Royals all-rounder club. He is also a trendsetter when it comes to fielding. He along with Mahipal Lomror and Riyan Parag who impressed with his performance last year are the retained all-rounders in the team. R Sai Kishore, Shubham Ranjane, Jalaj Saxena are some of the players who will go under the hammer as the Indian all-rounders whereas Chris Morris, Moises Henriques, Colin Munro, Marcus Stoinis are some of the overseas players who can come into the squad as the alternatives.
Just like many other teams, Bowling has been a concern for Rajasthan Royals as well. Leading the pace attack will be the world cup winning Englishmen Jofra Archer along with Karnataka’s experienced spinner Shreyas Gopal. The team management would be in desperate need of pacers as apart from Jofra and Ben they only have the services of Varun Aaron and Ankit Rajpoot. The pacers are the most injury-prone and with such a long season, front line pacers plus backup is required. Former Royal Jaydev Unadkat who was released last month can be seen wearing the pink jersey back again. Along with him, Bengal’s fast bowler Ishan Porel will also be among the management’s list. Mohit Sharma, Nathu Singh along with a few overseas fast bowlers will also be targeted by the Royals management. They have a settled spin attack with three leg spinners in the squad.
After an intriguing battle between Jofra Archer and Steve Smith in the last Ashes, it’s time for both the players to come together and play for the same franchise but before these two take the field next year, their owners and team management will have to pick good players in the IPL Auction due on December 19.
The Manoj Badale-owned team will go to the auction with ₹ 28.90 crore at their disposal and up to 11 players, including four overseas, players to acquire.