IPL 2022 – Analysing the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the new season
Since winning the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, the Rajasthan Royals have consistently underwhelmed with their performance for the duration of their tenure in the league. However, the mega auction ensured that teams could rebuild their squads from the ground up.RR began their IPL 2022 campaign by pre-auction signing Sanju Samson (14 crores), Jos Buttler (ten crores), and Yashaswi Jaiswal (four crores).
They then proceeded to the auction table to make their purchases. They paid the most on Indian fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, at Rs 10 crore. Additionally, they spent handsomely on West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer, paying Rs 8.50 crore for him. They built their core with Trent Boult (Rs 8 crore), Devdutt Padikkal (Rs 7.75 crore), Yuzvendra Chahal (Rs 6.50 crore), and R Ashwin (Rs 5 crore). RR also acquired veteran Nathan Coulter-Nile for Rs 2 crore and promising Indian cricketer Riyan Parag for Rs 3.80 crore, totaling Rs 61.05 crore in the squad building.
Absolutely Power-Packed Batting Lineup
Rajasthan Royals has a formidable batting order in the form of Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer, and Riyan Parag. Buttler is unquestionably one of the best white-ball cricketers in the game at the moment. The dynamic hitter utilises a range of strokes and packs a punch with his power hitting. Buttler, England’s limited overs vice-captain, is superb against great speed bowling and is equally adept at smashing spin bowling.
Samson is a Royals player who has been with the franchise since the start of his IPL career, with the exception of two seasons spent elsewhere while the franchisee was previously suspended. When in form, the gifted Indian batter is a sight to behold. He is the epitome of grace. The purpose with which the Kerala-born cricketer plays has the ability to quickly take the game away from the opponent. Samson has already single-handedly won multiple games for RR with his bat, and he has done it at a rapid pace.
Shimron Hetmyer and Riyan Parag form the Royals’ middle-order nucleus. While the West Indian batsman strikes at a breakneck pace and is capable of hitting massive sixes, Parag has showed signs of becoming a potential finisher for the team. Parag has had several standout performances for the squad in prior seasons, which contributed significantly to the franchisee repurchasing him from the auctions.
Shortage of All-rounders
One of the most critical positions in ensuring a T20 side’s optimum balance is that of the all-rounder. While RR’s batting is strong, they lack individuals who can contribute with both the bat and the ball when necessary. When entering a T20 competition of this sort, an all-rounder is a significant tool in a captain’s arsenal. A player who can provide the finishing touches with the bat and also come to the team’s rescue when the top and middle order falter is a valuable asset to any side. Additionally, an all-rounder is a vital alternative for the skipper if one or two of their regular bowlers have a terrible day or suffer an unwelcome injury.
The Royals do have a solid all-around option in New Zealand cricketer Jimmy Neesham. However, the 28-year-old has fallen short of expectations in the majority of his past IPL clubs. Neesham, who bats left-handed and bowls right-arm medium, has the ability to smash a few massive sixes but has frequently struggled to maintain consistency in his performances. Neesham’s bowling can be lined up on flat surfaces, and he lacks the variety necessary to recover from a batter’s counterattack.
Apart from Neesham, RR may also consider Riyan Parag and Ravi Ashwin as all-rounders. Both Parag and Ashwin, however, have not been regarded as all-rounders in T20 cricket. As a result, a dearth of alternatives in the department might destabilise the team’s balance and leave its captain with few options in a close game.
Presence of a strong Indian Core of players
The team is captained by Sanju Samson, a 27-year-old Indian superstar, and boasts the ideal Indian core. After all, the IPL is an Indian local league, with each side permitted to field only four foreign players. Recent history has often demonstrated that teams with a healthy mix of Indian talent typically perform well in the competition. Yashaswi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal, two very young but incredibly brilliant cricketers, inject the RR batting with freshness. With their reckless mentality, the two southpaws might be the ideal starting combination for the Royals, setting the stage brilliantly for the veteran bats to come and capitalise.
Typically, only a select few franchises have the benefit of having an Indian quick bowler capable of speeds of up to 150km/h. Prasidh Krishna is therefore a crucial addition to his club, having previously demonstrated his skills with the Kolkata Knight Riders last season.
Ashwin and Chahal provide the Royals with much-needed experience in the spin bowling department. The two senior Indian spinners and IPL veterans might create a devastating spin tandem on Indian pitches, rounding out the team’s strong local core.
Lack of experience in the Pace Bowling department
While the Royals do have veteran New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult on their side, they are not particularly well-resourced in terms of pace bowling alternatives. While Boult has been a successful bowler in the IPL, having bowled exceptionally well for the Mumbai Indians in the past, he may be short on experience at the other end.
RR does have potential in Prasidh Krishna and Obed McCoy. Both of those bowlers, though, are relatively inexperienced and may collapse under duress. Navdeep Saini has been costly in his recent IPL appearances and lacks confidence in specific playing circumstances. Nathan Coulter-Nile is another bowler the squad has signed, but the Australian cricketer has demonstrated a fragility in terms of conditioning and is prone to injury.
Thus, Boult would have a greater burden than intended in leading the assault, and if he is forced to miss games, the franchise from Rajasthan may struggle to contain opponents.
All in all, Rajasthan have got a great project going and with the right leadership, they have what it takes to go to the latter stages of the tournament and maybe even stake a claim at the championship.