Rajasthan Royals had a memorable IPL 2022 under the leadership of Sanju Samson, where they were the runners-up to the eventual champions Gujarat Titans. They played brilliant cricket throughout the tournament and were outstanding by winning 9 of their 14 group games. RR, along with the present title holders Titans, was easily the most consistent team last season, and this paved their way to reaching the summit clash for the first time since the inaugural edition in 2008.
Aside from being one of the tournament’s best teams, RR had in them the best batsman and bowler of last year’s IPL. Yuzuvendra Chahal was the leading taker in the last edition, while Jos Buttler was the leading run-scorer having a record-equaling season smashing 4 centuries. This and several more individual and team performances helped them to reach the final. They would want to continue their newfound momentum from the last season and hope to go over the line this time, ending their IPL title drought.
The Royals, led by the talented batsman Sanju Samson will take the field on the 2nd of April in an away game at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad against the Sunrisers.
Rajasthan Royals Squad (IPL 2023): Sanju Samson (c & wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler (wk), Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa, Jason Holder, Donovan Ferreira (wk), Kunal Rathore, Adam Zampa, KM Asif, Murugan Ashwin, Akash Vashisht, Abdul PA, Joe Root
Predicted Starting XI for RR in IPL 2023
Openers: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler
Yashasvi Jaiswal will be donning the openers hat in all likelihood for the Rajasthan Royals in the forthcoming edition of IPL. The young opener has been in tremendous batting form in the domestic circuit over the past couple of years and in the recent Irani Cup game, Jaiswal scored a double-century and a century in 1st & 2nd innings respectively. This is just a glimpse of what he has achieved since the last IPL season ended where the left-hander made 258 runs in 10 games.
His opening partner should be the England white-ball skipper Jos Buttler. The wicket-keeper batsman was a huge sensation in the last edition of IPL and more often than not gave the Royals a platform allowing the middle-order to cash in on. And in most games, Buttler would be there till the end, and his 4 centuries in the last season support that. Buttler scored 863 runs at an average of over 57 and a strike rate close to 150, which is just phenomenal.
Middle-Order: Sanju Samson (C & WK), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer
Sanju Samson fits ideally into the no.3 slot and his numbers were good in the last season where he led them from the front. Individually, Samson scored 458 runs at an average of 28.63 and most importantly it has come at a strike rate of just under 147 with 2 half-centuries. This means Samson has always tried to accelerate in any given situation.
Next up in the batting order is likely to be Devdutt Padikkal who after a solid start to his IPL career in 2020 lost his stream a bit but this season gives him another opportunity to prove himself at the biggest stage. Padikkal made 376 runs from 17 innings at an average of 22 and much was expected out of him.
Shimron Hetmyer completes the solid middle order that the Royals possess for this edition and the West Indies player is a complete package when it comes to this role. He can finish games as well as play in the way the game demands. He made 314 runs at 44.14 a piece with a staggering strike rate of 153.92 and the Royals would expect something similar from him this season.
All-rounders: Jason Holder, Ravi Ashwin, Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag the talented all-rounder from Assam has been with the Rajasthan team for quite some time now and has really been inconsistent. Though he has shown some brilliance with the bat and ball, it has been sporadic but the team has kept a lot of faith in this 22-year-old all-rounder. This could be the season that propels Parag to the next level.
Jason Holder is a new recruit for the Royals this season and he should be a great utility player for them across all the departments of the game. His form with the ball has been in the IPL having taken 49 wickets from 38 games thus far and Royals would have Holder has his best season yet with them. Ravi Ashwin contributed both with the bat & ball last season and proved his worth in his debut season with the Royals. He even scored his maiden IPL fifty apart from taking 12 wickets in the season.
Bowlers: Trent Boult, Yuzuvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Sen
Trent Boult, New Zealand’s pace spearhead for close to a decade will be one of the first players in the team sheet for the Royals team in the coming edition. Boult, even though he has not played for the Kiwis much recently, the left-arm pacer is sought out in the leagues across the globe. He has taken 92 wickets from the 78 IPL games he has played including the 16 wickets he picked in the last edition.
Kuldeep Sen was an emerging talent last year for the Royals and he impressed everyone with his raw pace. The right-arm pacer took 8 wickets in the 7 games with several notable outings and this should compel the team management to give a longer run this season.
Yuzuvendra Chahal, the wily leg-spinner emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the IPL 2022 with 27 scalps and the Indian international has all the possibility in the world to be the leading wicket-taker in the IPL as the season progress. He has taken 166 wickets thus far and the No.1 in the list is Dwayne Bravo (183 wickets) who has retired from the IPL.
Rajasthan Probable Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Ravi Ashwin, Riyan Parag, Trent Boult, Yuzuvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Sen