The Rajasthan Royals started the tournament by surprising everyone and going on to win the title under Shane Warne’s captaincy, but have been on and off since then.
The Identity of Rajasthan Royals was that of an underdog team with young talent who always punched above their weight. In recent times, Rajasthan Royals have come out of the underdog conservative team approach and went after big match winners. Last year was disappointing for the Royals as they finished 7th in the table. They had issues with their key players missing out due to international commitments and also with changes in captaincy during the tournament.
This year however, they have announced Steve Smith as the captain and all players will be available during the tournament. Hence they will hope to play with a full strength squad and go big.
The biggest strength for the Rajasthan Royals are the international players like Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. They also have good back up in David Miller, Tom Curran, Andrew Tye and Oshane Thomas.
They have added good young Indian talent like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Karthi Tyagi who will be part of Rajasthan’s plan in the years to come.
Lack of an attacking Indian pacer might hurt them on flat surfaces. Unadkat is the most experienced out of the Indian pacers, but is also known to go for runs when conditions do not suit him.
Jos Buttler should seal one of the opening spots. There will be competition for the second opener’s spot with likes of Robin Uthappa, Manan Vohra and Yashasvi Jaiswal fighting for it. They also have three leg spinners in Tewatia, Gopal and Markande, but only 2 out of the three can play.
RR Probable XI to start the tournament : 1) Jos Buttler (wk), 2) Robin Uthappa, 3) Sanju Samson, 4) Steve Smith (c), 5) Ben Stokes, 6) Riyan Parag, 7) Rahul Tewatia, 8) Jofra Archer, 9) Shreyas Gopal, 10) Jaydev Unadkat, 11) Varun Aaron
The Indian pacers need to step up their game for the Royals to be contenders for the IPL.