Rajasthan Royals: Season Preview

For the last time, watch the podcast for my views on the team as it came out of the auction. In case you want to view my other podcasts, you can always watch them here.

The Rajasthan Royals have always been admired as a franchise that takes what little it has, and makes it large. This was more than clear when Shane Warne picked up the least-likely-to-succeed team he was given, and took it to a victory. Although Rajasthan had rather lean times after that, they came back strong to secure third place last IPL. In the auction, they were frugal spenders, their most expensive buy being Steve Smith at Rs 4 crore ($660,000). The walk into this IPL with an abundance of young talent, in the form of Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Unmukt Chand, Dhawal Kulkarni, Karun Nair, and Iqbal Abdullah. These players, working under brilliant mentors such as Paddy Upton and Rahul Dravid, will definitely blossom. In terms of overseas firepower, RR are not far behind either. Along with the already retained James Faulkner and Shane Watson, they brought back Kevon Cooper and Brad Hodge, and also pulled in the accurate Tim Southee, the hard-hitting Ben Cutting, and the ferocious Kane Richardson. I feel Ajinkya Rahane will have a crucial role to play for the Royals this year, as Rahul Dravid’s retirement makes him the most experienced Indian batsman in the playing team. Also, it will be interesting to see Shane Watson leading the side this year, as he has not had any experience captaining Australia and how he manages this young squad will be interesting to watch.

Author’s Choice XI (Based on more recent times):

Unmukt Chand

Ajinkya Rahane

Shane Watson (c)

Sanju Samson (wk)

Steve Smith

Brad Hodge

Stuart Binny

James Faulkner

Vikramjeet Malik

Dhawal Kulkarni

Pravin Tambe