Rajasthan Royals, Champions of the inaugural edition haven’t been able to live up to the expectations over the last few years. Despite having the tag of “Underdogs”, they haven’t unlocked their full potential. RR has managed to surprise many cricket pundits and win matches with a relatively inexperienced side across various seasons though.
- Can they win it this time?
- Can Steve Smith and his boys win IPL 2020?
- Have they got all the bases covered?
Let’s take a look and dig deep and review their team and their chances to win IPL 2020.
For starters, RR consists of overseas players other teams dream of having. Starting from their skipper Steve Smith, RR are blessed with an excellent captain as Smith has been exceptional as a leader and like an ideal leader, leads from the front. He has the highest win percentage as a captain in IPL. He leads a relatively weak RPS side to the finals in 22017. Also, he has a batting average of close to 40 in IPL and has been averaging 38 for the last two seasons, which is very good. Unlike the previous edition, he’ll get to bat at his favoured position, i.e. at 3 and hence can work on his strike rate as he does not have the added pressure as RR have a strong batting unit.
RR’s top order is one of the best as they’ll be having the services of Jos Buttler, who has been exceptional for them at the top, with either Yashasvi Jaiswal or Robin Uthappa. RR would ideally start with Jaiswal, but if he doesn’t get going, then they can always turn to the IPL veteran Uthappa. Smith at 3 and Samson at 4 will provide RR with the much-needed stability. Ben Stokes at 5 gives them a reliable finisher. Despite not being at his best in the previous 2 editions Stokes is a proven match-winner. Add to the fact that RR has completely backed him. However, it has been learnt that Stokes might miss the first half of IPL 2020, in that case, David Miller could bat at 5 for the Royals and take his spot until he returns. Miller is a proven performer in this format as well as in this league and can hit the big shots for fun. Riyan Parag, The talented all-rounder, is another player to watch out for and will be raring to go on the field. Overall RR has a perfect batting side.
Here comes the significant call RR will have to make, as the conditions in UAE are on the slower side and playing 2 spinners would be a wise move, RR should ideally have Tewatia at 7 and Shreyas Gopal at 8. Both of them are good with the bat as well.
RR’s pace attack will be lead by Jofra Archer, who has been their best fast bowler since 2018 and is superb at the death overs. They will also be having the services of Jaydev Unadkat, someone who they back and has been good for them in patches. A lot will depend on him this season as he’s their most experienced Indian seamer. Their third and last seamer could either be Ankit Rajpoot or the teen sensation Kartik Tyagi.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Their strength lies in their batting. Their top order is dependable and would give you a good start more often than not. They have 2 explosive players in Buttler and Stokes/Miller. Samson and Steve Smith could hold the innings together, and Jaiswal and Parag could play the big shots. Their weakness is their bowling as they’ll have to depend a lot on Archer and Gopal as the others aren’t as consistent as them. Unadkat will have to be at his best if RR are to have a good season. Here’s how we have ranked our teams based on top-order, middle-order, spinners, and death-overs.
Can They Win IPL 2020?
Definitely! However, their Indian core needs to fire for them to do so. Their overseas players are world-class and should win a few matches for RR on their own. If the Indian players can perform in the group stages and help RR reach the playoffs, they would have a perfect chance of winning it. RR has the best players under pressure, Buttler, Smith, Stokes and Archer are superb in knockout matches, and thus they need their youngsters to deliver for them so that RR can qualify for the playoffs and possibly win the title.