Rajasthan Royals (RR) IPL 2020 Predicted Playing XI
One of the most destructive batsmen in white ball cricket, Jos Buttler has been really successful as opener in the past two seasons and the Englishman fared really well as an opener in IPL 2019 too. In just 8 matches, Buttler managed to score 311 runs. His aggressive starts would be vital for RR as it sets the tone for the rest of the inning.
The other opener’s spot could be up for grabs as either Robin Uthappa or Yashashvi Jaiswal could partner Jos Buttler at the top. It might all come down to form in the lead up to the tournament rather than IPL experience as Jaiswal’s talent can’t be overlooked.
Skipper Steve Smith will take up the important No.3 position in the batting line-up. It is in both Smith and the team’s best interests that he should bat at No. 3 as his game is more suited to playing through the 20 overs. If Smith can hold one end, it gives freedom for the likes of Buttler and Stokes to express himself.
Sanju Samson, has been Rajasthan Royals’ mainstay for a number of years now and once again will be a crucial cog in the team’s middle-order. Samson also had an inconsistent 2019 IPL campaign where his only 50+ score was a century against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 25-year old needs to get rid of his frustrating ability to throw it away after getting a start.
England’s MVP Ben Stokes will come into the 2020 IPL season with a lot of expectations following a whirlwind 2019 cricketing year which saw some stunning performances in the ICC World Cup and also the Ashes series that followed. While the explosive all-rounder has shone for England, his performances in the last two seasons haven’t been good enough.
Ben Stokes might miss the few matches due to personal issues, his unavailability might open up a chance for David Miller to showcase his talent after underachieving last few IPL seasons.
Andrew Tye can also come in as Royals lack quality fast bowling and Tye might be a better option than Varun Aaron or Rajpoot, while Manan Vohra can also come in the playing XI if Tye is preferred.
One of the finds of the 2019 IPL season, Assam’s Riyan Parag played with a level of maturity that belied his tender age of 17 (Age during the IPL debut). The then 17-year old scored 160 runs at an average of 32 and also became the youngest player to score IPL 50.
The 18-year-old is also useful with his part-time spin bowling and that gives an option to Steve Smith’s bowling plans.
An underrated member in the Rajasthan Royals team, Karnataka all-rounder Shreyas Gopal has been very impressive for his current franchise. In the last two seasons, he has picked up 31 wickets in 25 matches while also being frugal. With RR lacking experienced spinners Gopal will be expected to lead their spin attack.
One of the most in demand T20 players Archer’s stock has risen since playing a pivotal role in England’s World Cup win. In IPL 2019 Archer picked up 11 wickets at an economy rate of 6.76. Possessed with a lethal bouncer and yorker apart from his usual hard lengths, Archer will remain a threat for batsmen next year in the IPL.
Another spot which could be up for grabs is the second spinner’s role in the team. It would be interesting to see if RR prefer the batting ability of Rahul Tewatia or Mayank Markande’s better skills as a leg-spinner. Markande and Tewatia both found it tough to get games last season and this will be a crucial year for both of them.
Even though Unadkat hasn’t been able to justify his huge price tags in the last two seasons, RR placed their faith on the experienced campaigner for the third season running. Representing RR, Unadkat has been a flop picking up only up 21 wickets in 26 matches with an economy rate around 10 runs per over. As a result, next season could be a make or break one for Unadkat
Varun Aaron/ Ankit Rajpoot
The last pick in the team will be either Varun Aaron or Ankit Rajpoot. Both have struggled to make an impact in IPL so far. While Aaron was expensive in the five games he played last season, Rajpoot is a new face in the Rajasthan Royals outfit. Playing for Kings XI Punjab in the last two seasons, Rajpoot had mixed returns with 14 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of above 9. Truth be told both have struggled for a long time now and might be a weak link in the Royals attack.