The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to kick-start from the 7th of April 2018. The most pompous league in the world has grown exponentially both in terms of capital and also the talent it has extracted from all corners of the world. The status quo of world cricket has had a propensity towards the shortest format of the game. While T20 cricket isn’t assuredly the future of cricket, it certainly is a major part of it. Here we look at RR’s expected playing XI and also their team combination.
A mammoth Rs. 431,70,00,000 was spent on player’s auctions this year. An amount that couldn’t even be fathomed a decade back. Broadcasters, title sponsors and the franchises put together have taken the IPL grandeur to an unprecedented level.
REDEMPTION TIME FOR RAJASTHAN ROYALS
After spending two years in oblivion, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai SuperKings are now a part of the 11th edition of the IPL. RR, most importantly have a huge impression to make. The franchise will look to emulate the form that won them the title in the inaugural edition. Let’s take a look at the players the one-time champions have managed to collate.
AMOUNT SPENT BY RR AT THE IPL AUCTIONS
Steve Smith was retained by RR for 12.5 crores and the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawal Kulkarni were retained via the right to match card for Rs. 4,00,00,000 and Rs. 75,00,000 respectively.
Ben Stokes probably the most effective all-rounder in world cricket at the present moment was bought at 12.5 crores. The costliest in this year’s auction.
Jaydev Unadkat was acquired at a whopping Rs. 11,50,00,000. The most amount spent for an Indian player. The left-arm pacer had an impressive outing in last years edition where he almost won the Rising Pune Supergiant their first ever title.
Jofra Archer was massively impressive in the Big Bash League. The robust all-rounder garnered a lot of attention and will be a player to watch out for. The 7.2 crore spent on him at the auctions might turn out to be a mere bargain.
Sanju Samson has always been considered a mighty talent in the Indian domestic circuit but it’s his inconsistency that has let him down. However, the RR think tank considers him a genuine match winner. RR spent 8 crores for his acquisition.
Krishnappa Gowtham, the talented all-rounder from Karnataka has been included in the RR squad. 6,20,00,000 rupees was his purchase fee.
RR spent a total of Rs. 78,35,00,000 out of the allocated 80 crore cash pocket.
Rajasthan Royals have always invested money in young domestic talent. Their scouts have done a remarkable job yet again. This year’s auction also reflected the amount of work they’d put in purchasing some of the finest youngsters across the globe.
Costliest Player: Ben Stokes and Steve Smith(Rs. 12,50,00,000)
Overseas players: Steve Smith(AUS), Ben Stokes(ENG), Jofra Archer(WI), Darcy Short(AUS), Dushmanta Chameera(SL), Ben Laughlin(AUS), Zahir Khan Pakteen(AFG).
THE FOUR OVERSEAS PLAYERS
Steve Smith will be leading the RR troops this year. Having played a decent amount of cricket in the Indian sub-continent he’s bound to throw the kitchen sink this time.
The skipper averages 37.02 in 62 IPL games with a nifty scoring-rate of 131.71.
Ben Stokes over the last 3 months has been in the news for the wrong reasons. However, the English all-rounder has been the most effective cricketer in the last 2 years and his inclusion in the RR outfit is a huge plus. At RPS, Stokes displayed yet again why he’s rated among the best in the modern era. Stokes also won the player of the tournament last year.
Stokes scored 316 runs in 11 innings last year with an impressive strike-rate of 142.99.
Jofra Archer and Jos Butler will be the other two to feature in the playing eleven. Darcy Short who set the BBL on fire is also in their ranks. His inclusion in the playing eleven isn’t certain because a certain Jos Butler will be the man behind the stumps for RR.
Butler in the IPL: Games 24, Runs 527, Average 25.10, SR 145.98
SQUAD AND EXPECTED PLAYING 11
Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Jos Buttler, Darcy Short, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Zahir Khan, Stuart Binny, Dushmanta Chameera, Ben Laughlin, AS Kathuria, Aryaman Birla, S Midhun, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma.
RR’S EXPECTED PLAYING11
Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith(c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal/Mahipal Lomror.
Rajasthan Royals have always picked players at cut-throat prices in the past. This year, however, they’ve let their wallet loose. The team looks finely balanced.
In Rahane, they’ve got a blend of a nudger and a dasher. Rahul Tripathi can hit the ball cleanly and do it consistently. The batting prowess of Smith, Stokes, Buttler and Samson can’t be questioned. The likes of Jofra Archer, Gowtham and Lomror are more than capable of using the long handle.
Unadkat, Kulkarni, Archer, Stokes, Gopal/Lomror and Krishnappa Gowtham complete a decent bowling attack but on a flat deck where the bowlers are certain to a take a stick, the guile of Unadkat, Stokes and Gowtham can prove handy.
Rajasthan Royals don’t walk into the tournament as favourites but they’ve got an eleven that can test the best in the business.