Rajasthan Royals started their IPL journey in 2008 in a grand way by winning the tournament when no one expected them to win. Since then their performance has seen many ups and downs including a two-year ban but they could never reach the heights of that 2008 season. They finished IPL 2019 in the 7th position and will look to make some improvement in their squad during the auction on 19th December.
RR already have some top international stars like Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in their batting line-up and will look to purchase good Indian talents to complement their overseas stars. Deepak Hooda can fit the bill as his attacking batting, brilliant fielding and occasional off-spin bowling make him a very good package in T20 cricket. Hooda first came to prominence in 2015 by playing some very useful knocks down the order for Rajasthan Royals. He was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 auction but did not get many opportunities to bat in a solid batting line-up and return to his original franchise should do good for both him and the Royals.
The attacking Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis can add lots of balance in Royals’ line up. Generally, he plays as a finisher but he has also opened in Big Bash league with a lot of success. In IPL he has played for Kings XI Punjab before being traded off to Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, he has been released by RCB and will be part of the auction where he is expected to generate interest from quite a few franchises. He can also be a good cover for Ben Stokes who will come after a long and both mentally and physically drained season.
Alzarri Joseph had an interesting first season in IPL 2019. Already a well-known star due to his heroics in 2016 U19 World Cup, Joseph joined Mumbai Indians as a replacement for the injured Adam Milne. He had a dream debut as he picked six wickets for 12 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, he played two more matches, went wicketless and had a shoulder injury himself which ruled him out of the IPL. Despite the IPL debut performance, Joseph has been released by Mumbai Indians and Royals can take this opportunity to bring him in their squad. The Royals coach Andrew McDonald already highlighted his focus to strengthen the bowling and Joseph can perfectly fit in that agenda.
Royals have a tendency to go for unknown Indian youngsters in the auction and they will look to do the same along with some key picks in the upcoming auction too.