All-rounders, the key focus area for Rajasthan Royals as we predict their strategy for IPL 2020 Auction.
The ‘Dark-house’ as we often call the Rajasthan Royals team have made some really interesting player retentions and releases ahead of the IPL 2020 Auction. While they retained a total of 14 players, they released as many as 11 players from their squad; second-most among all the teams.
Barring a few trades, Rajasthan Royals have done a good job in terms of player releases and retentions. They released players who were actually quite underwhelming with their performances in IPL 2019 that include the likes of Jaydev Unadkat, Stuart Binny, Ashton Turner, and Oshane Thomas.
Even the release of some key players like Rahul Tripathi, Ish Sodhi, Liam Livingstone, and Shubham Ranjane didn’t look surprising. However, the release of Ajinkya Rahane and Krishnappa Gowtham was quite surprising, and the latter’s move should have been avoided.
Rajasthan Royals’ retained squad before IPL 2020 Auction:
Total Retained Players: 14 | Total Purse Available: INR 2890L
Batsmen: Jos Buttler (WK), Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson (WK), Shashank Singh, and Steve Smith.
All-rounders: Ben Stokes and Mahipal Lomrar.
Bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markhande, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, and Varun Aaron.
Looking at the current retentions, an ideal line-up for Rajasthan Royals could be Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markhande, Jofra Archer, and Ankit Rajpoot.
Apart from 6 names ( 4 overseas, Shreyas Gopal and Sanju Samson), every other player in the 11 is replaceable. This means, Rajasthan Royals definitely have a lot of work to do at the upcoming Auction to have a potent squad. So, let’s look at the strategy Rajasthan Royals can or should adopt at the IPL 2020 Auction.
#3: Purchase Good Openers
Rajasthan Royals surprised everyone when they released their longest-associated player, Ajinkya Rahane. To be honest, Rahane is a decent T20 player, and has done well playing for Rajasthan Royals. But, the format is such that Ajinkya Rahane’s style isn’t quite in sync with the game’s demands in 2019.
Apart from Rahane, RR also released Rahul Tripathi, who to be honest is a culprit of lack of opportunities. He had done quite well playing for Rising Pune Supergiant, but got limited opportunities with Rajasthan Royals as an opener.
Post the release of these openers, Rajasthan Royals lack a good supporting partner to their first-choice opener, Jos Buttler. While they have Manan Vohra in the squad, Rajasthan Royals should still look to buy at least 1 good opener and 1 backup opener; both of which should be Indians.
#2: Ramp-up All-rounders
While this particular category was already below par for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019, the release of Krishnappa Gowtham has created a big gap with Ben Stokes being the only good designated all-rounder available with them.
With INR 2890L in the kitty, Rajasthan Royals should go big-bang in the all-rounder category by looking to purchase 1 good overseas all-rounder and 1 good Indian all-rounder. The options in the overseas category available with them are Colin De Grandhomme, James Neesham, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, etc.
#1: Overseas Players Strategy
Looking at the current schedule for International matches, April and May months do not have any matches scheduled, which should come as a breather for Rajasthan Royals. However, there may be a case of Pakistan scheduling few matches during that period, and England/Australian players leaving for International duties.
If that is the case, then Rajasthan Royals should look to buy 2 good overseas players ( An All-rounder and a Middle-order batsman) and 2 decent overseas players in the bowling department to safeguard themselves.
Apart from these, Rajasthan Royals would also need to buy 1-2 good Indian middle-order batsmen to strengthen their batting. Assuming Rajasthan Royals follow the above-mentioned strategy, they shall be a force to reckon at IPL 2020.
Thanks for reading the article! Which players do you guys think Rajasthan Royals should look to buy at the IPL 2020 Auction? Do let us know in the comments.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.