Rajasthan Royals

IPL 2021: Predicted Playing XI for Rajasthan Royals (RR) by Cricalytics

Captain Sanju Samson, the focus as we look at the predicted playing 11 of Rajasthan Royals (RR) for IPL 2021.

The forever dark horse of IPL, Rajasthan Royals hasn’t had the bests of the last couple of years in IPL. They finished last in IPL 2020 and second-last in IPL 2019. Under the captaincy of Sanju Samson, they would enter yet another year as a team that is still in a rebuilding stage with a proper core and backups yet to be defined. 

The biggest news for Rajasthan Royals this year has been the departure of Steve Smith and the announcement of Sanju Samson as their new captain. This would be the first time Sanju would be leading an IPL side. While it is exciting news, Sanju’s form and consistency have always been a question mark.

Barring Sanju, the team lacks good Indian talent as seen in the other teams. The good options available for them are themselves making a mark in the Cricketing world. The likes of which include Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markhande, and Kartik Tyagi. 

The team has almost confirmed 4 first-choice overseas players in the form of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Chris Morris. They also have appropriate good overseas backups in the form of David Miller, Andrew Tye, Mustafizur Rahman, and Liam Livingstone.

So, if we had to look at the predicted playing 11 combinations for Rajasthan Royals (RR) for IPL 2021, what would it be? Let’s find out in this article. Before that, let’s skim through RR’s squad for IPL 2021. 

Rajasthan Royals (RR)’s Squad for IPL 2021: 

Batsmen: Anuj Rawat (WK), David Miller, Jos Buttler (WK), Liam Livingstone, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (WK) & Yashasvi Jaiswal

All-rounders: Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Mahipal Lomrar, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag & Shivam Dube

Bowlers: Akash Singh,  Andrew Tye, Chetan Sakariya, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi, KC Cariappa, Kuldip Yadav, Mayank Markhande, Mustafizur Rahman & Shreyas Gopal

Rajasthan Royals, RR official squad for IPL 2021
Rajasthan Royals, RR official squad for IPL 2021 // © Cricalytics

The Solid Core 

The solid core of Rajasthan Royals revolves predominantly around overseas players. They are almost sure to play Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and new recruit, Chris Morris as the first-choice overseas players unless they foresee an injury or International commitments from these. 

Barring these 4, Captain Sanju Samson should lead the team from the front. However, his batting position would be interesting. As history has seen, he should bat at 3 or even open alongside Buttler to give more solidity at the top. The good thing, however, is that Sanju, being the Captain is the best judge to take this call. 

All-rounder Rahul Tewatia and Shivam Dube should also play almost all matches as they add good firepower in lower-order and provide for valuable 2-3 overs in the bowling. In the bowling, Shreyas Gopal should play almost all matches being the leading spinner in the squad. 


Strongest Predicted Playing XI for RR:

The core of Rajasthan Royals revolves around 8 players, and they need 3 more Indian players to fill the remaining gaps. With Buttler set to open being his strongest position, Ideally Yashasvi Jaiswal as the second opener would be a nice combination of fire and ice. 

Sanju Samson at 3 should be great looking for the Captain to adapt according to the situation. He can anchor the innings or attack depending on the situation. Following him should be Ben Stokes at number 4. Stokes is a natural middle-order player, and him at number 4 gives a nice balance to the team. 

Given the lack of solid Indian batsmen, Riyan Parag at 5 seems the best available option. Ideally, an experienced Indian batsman like Sanju Samson would have been more suited for this role. That’s the major drawback this RR side has for IPL 2021. 

Following Riyan should be 3 all-rounders in the form of Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, and Rahul Tewatia. The three should play from 6-8, and their presence provides the much-needed batting depth as the team is otherwise short of experience in middle-order. 

Kartik Tyagi, Chetan Sakariya, and Jaydev Unadkat should fight for the last pacer spot. All three bring-in unique strengths on the table, but given Kartik Tyagi’s impressive debut in IPL 2020, and his rise since then, he should make it to the final playing 11; initially at least. 

Strongest Predicted 11 for Rajasthan Royals (RR) for IPL 2021:

Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (C&WK), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal & Kartik Tyagi.

Option 1: Ben Stokes as Opener

Ben Stokes did give glimpses of his performance as an opener in IPL 2020. With the second opener slot still open, Ben Stokes can play alongside Jos Buttler as the openers of the squad. While that should certainly maker the top-order heavy, it does leave the lower-order thin on experience. Nevertheless, here’s how the XI looks with Ben Stokes as the opener. 

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson (C&WK), Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal & Kartik Tyagi.

Option 2: Backups for England Overseas Players 

England players have had a history of not being able to attend the entire IPL due to international commitments. While the possibility of this happening in IPL 2021 looks feeble, if it does happen, Rajasthan Royals have good backups for the 3 Englishmen. 

If Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jofra Archer are unavailable due to injury or International commitments, then, in that case, Liam Livingstone, David Miller, and Mustafizur Rahman should replace them. In that case, the ideal batting line-up for Rajasthan Royals should look as follows. 

Liam Livingstone, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (C), Riyan Parag, David Miller, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi & Mustafizur Rahman

So, that completes the strongest playing 11 combinations for Rajasthan Royals ( RR) for IPL 2021. Barring the ones mentioned above, the RR team also have a few more interesting names in the form of Manan Vohra, Jaydev Unadkat, Akash Singh, Chetan Sakariya, Kuldip Yadav, and KC Cariappa. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your predicted playing 11 for RR for IPL 2021? Please email your thoughts to business@cricalytics.com

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