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Rajasthan Royals: Tough tournament awaits after poor planning

After finishing seventh in 2019, Rajasthan Royals had major work to be done in the background, but if they did do that little of that showed on paper as they built a very average squad after the auctions with few weaknesses plugged.

Squad

Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Anuj Rawat

Captain: Steve Smith

Coach: Andrew McDonald

Batting coach: Amol Muzumdar

Spin bowling coach: Sairaj Bahutule

Spin consultant and operations executive: Ish Sodhi

Fast bowling coach: Rob Cassell

Strengths

The primary strength Rajasthan Royals have on paper is their top-order batting. In Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith and Ben Stokes, they have a strong top four capable of winning matches on their own. Add in new signings Robin Uthappa, Yashasvi Jaiswal, David Miller and Manan Vohra and the top-order looks refreshing and capable of posting high totals. 

They are also relatively strong in the death bowling area with Andrew Tye and Tom Curran added to join Jofra Archer. That said, it is tough to play either of them with Archer considering that Smith, Buttler and Stokes fill three overseas spots. 

Weaknesses

Despite the overdose of spinners in the team, Rajasthan Royals have missed a basic trick followed by T20 teams – of having variety in the ranks. The team has four leggies in Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag. The spin department screams out for an off-spin bowler but they traded the lone one out – Krishnappa Gowtham – to Kings XI Punjab. 

Rajasthan also appear to lack a power hitting finisher although they did add David Miller, who seems past his prime. Ben Stokes isn’t quite a T20 finisher and neither is Riyan Parag, although he does offer promise. After Buttler, the team likely has no one capable of pushing them to totals above 200.

Recommended fantasy picks

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sanju Samson are the best four fantasy picks in the Rajasthan Royals outfit. Shreyas Gopal is an enticing option too, but in general it’s safer to stay away from Smith, Miller, Parag (because he bats way too low) and Unadkat and other Indian seamers. That said, if Kartik Tyagi plays, he is worth a pick as a budget player.

Predicted XI

Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande

 

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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