Rajasthan Royals stunned everyone by becoming the champion in the first-ever IPL in 2008 putting some of their fancied opponents behind. Since then they never touched those glorious heights and finished outside top four in six of the nine editions, they took part in the league. They also had to face a two-year exile from the league due to corruption-related cases.
They finished 7th out of eight teams last year and hence team management has gone for a host of changes. They have retained only 14 players and released 11 and left with a purse of 28.90 Crore. Four world-class overseas players in Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler create the core of this team which is lacking in big Indian stars. They have few youngsters like Shreyas Gopal, Manan Vohra and Riyan Parag who played Brilliantly in the 2019 IPL.
They will focus to add more meat in their middle order and they can have options of going for some experienced stars like Robin Uthappa, Hanuma Vihari, and Deepak Hooda. They can also bring back Yousuf Pathan who was one of the stars of their 2008 triumph. In case they want to add some hard-hitting finishers in the squad, they have quite a few options from which they can opt for. They can go for IPL veterans like Carlos Brathwaite, Marcus Stoinis or Jason Holder all of them can provide the team seam bowling options. They can also go for some of the lesser-known stars like Rahkeem Cornwall or Fabian Allen who will be fit for T20 format and have proved their mettle in this year’s Caribbean Premier League.
In the fast bowling department, Rajasthan has released a few players and traded in Ankit Rajpoot from Kings XI Punjab which can be a very good move. They will require to add more options though, especially as a backup of Jofra Archer who will come after a long season. There are quite a few options for overseas fast bowlers like Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Alzarri Joseph on who KKR can show trust.
The Royals generally make teams with some exciting youngsters and it will be interesting to see on which youngsters they look to invest for the IPL 2020.