IPL Preview 2020: Rajasthan Royals
IPL or Indian Premier League is a professional cricket league based on Twenty20 format of the game, where both the teams play for 20 overs each. It is a short, brutal and an extremely entertaining format of the game which attracts crowds in huge numbers, both in the stadiums and via TV viewership.
Indian Premier League was founded by BCCI or Board of Control for Cricket in India, and its first season was played in 2008 and was won by Rajasthan Royals, a team native to the Indian state of Rajasthan.
The team representing the Indian state of Rajasthan, Rajasthan Royals were one of the initial eight teams that were the original eight franchises of the Indian Premier League. Based in Jaipur, they are mainly based in Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Narendra Modi Stadium being their second, or away ground.
Winners of the inaugural edition of Indian Premier League T20, Rajasthan Royals are known for their uncanny ability for unearthing prodigious and highly potent young talents. Despite all this, they are also known for being the face of various controversies, being banned, along with Chennai Super Kings, for two years for 2013 betting scandal.
Owned by three owners, Manoj Badale, Amisha Hathiramani and Lachlan Murdock. They are currently the least expensive team in the league.
Rajasthan Royals have the reputation of the least consistent team in the league, with sufficient proof to back it up. Their triumph at the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League was their highlight, as they have not won a title ever since. On top of that, they have only managed to reach the qualifiers only three times in nine attempts. Unfortunately, they kept up this underwhelming display at the latest season of the T20 league.
In their entire squad, before the beginning of the latest edition of T20 IPL 2020, the team of Rajasthan Royals had only 5 players who had played professional cricket before the beginning of the lockdown of 2020, due to Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. They have consistently proven to be the weakest and the least capable side of the entire tournament, despite being one of the original eight teams, and winning the first ever IPL season in history.
Despite the poor form over the years, followed by a suspension for two years for their alleged involvement in the 2013 betting scandal, Rajasthan Royals gave their fans a spark of hope in form of the appointment of Australian cricketer Andrew McDonald as the head coach, who has experience in coaching in the T20 format of the cricket.
The infusion of young blood of Yashasvi Jaiswal blended perfectly well with the veteran Robin Uthapa, and the heavy hitter from South Africa, David Miller, to give teeth to their batting. Their bowling was improved by the additions of capable bowlers like Andrew Tye, Oshane Thomas, a youngster Karthik Tyagi and another veteran Tom Curran.
Rajasthan Royals have some very good and highly talented players in their ranks, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and David Miller. Despite these elite cricketers, who are in their prime, on the top of the game, Rajasthan Royals somehow manage to remain at the bottom of the league table. This year, despite being in top form, due to a head injury incurred in training, the captain of the side, Steve Smith is doubtful to start. For someone relying on such an elite talent, this is sure a huge blow.
Archer and Buttler were the two players who shone throughout the tournament, keeping Rajasthan Royals’ hopes alive on their able shoulders. In addition to them, the domestic and raw talent of their own land, youngsters like Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is ably supported by his India under 19 World Cup teammates in the form of Akash Singh and Karthik Tyagi.
In addition to them, their other teammates like Mayank Markande and Sreyas Gopal have given their full to overseas veterans like Andrew Tye, Oshane Thomas and Tom Curran. All of them in addition to Jofra Archer, makes this team more capable then, they have proven themselves of being in the past, barely managing to win matches, and giving it their all just to be in the top 5.
In Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, David Miller, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson, Rajasthan Royals have a solid batting line up, but have failed to secure and build up a competitive middle order batting line to give support to their heavy handed top order batsmen.
As was the unofficial theme throughout the IPL 2020 season, it was the young blood that saved the usually palling Rajasthan side. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Akash Singh and Karthik Tyagi who saved the grace of Rajasthan Royals. The secret and highly deadly weapon being Sreyas Gopal, an overwhelming batsman and lethal with the ball. In fact, it was the solid performances by the all-rounders, such as Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh and Anirudha Joshi who proved to be game changers.
Despite such young and boiling blood, the chink in the able armor of players of Rajasthan Royals proved to be the ability and quality of play of their overseas specialists, Smith, Buttler, Archer and Stokes. The lack of presence of a single Indian star player is the one glaring fact, and a lack in their squad and line up that states everyone in the face.
Despite all their strengths, Rajasthan Royals have some clear and highlighted errors that have held them back. The major one of them comes in the face of evergreen and dependable former captain, Steve Smith. It seems as if some strong cosmic force stands between Steve Smith and Rajasthan Royals, preventing both of them to be together. First the head injury, then his personal issues regarding his father.