Rajasthan Royals decided to invest big to solve problems in the squad that led to a poor campaign last season.
IPL 2020 was terrible for Rajasthan Royals, to say the least. The team continued struggled throughout the season and ended up in the last place on the points table. It was clear that this time around, they needed to make some bold decisions.
Before going into the auction, in an unprecedented move, they released the team’s captain Steve Smith. Along with him, they also released Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Akash Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Anirudha Joshi, Shashank Singh, and traded Robin Uthappa to CSK.
While these departures helped them to enter the auction with Rs 37.85 crores, many didn’t expect them to go for many expensive bids since RR is generally frugal with acquisitions. All these preconceived notions about the franchise went out the window when they made Chris Morris the most expensive player in the history of IPL.
Rajasthan bought Chris Morris for a whopping Rs 16.25 crores, breaking the pre-existing record set by Yuvraj Singh when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 16 crores in 2015. The South African is the perfect fit for the team on paper as he can play the role of a finisher along with being a death-bowling option as a pacer, the areas RR desperately needed to address.
However, Morris has not played international cricket since he got injured last year and might need some time to adjust. The South African all-rounder was expected to support Jofra Archer with new and old ball. With reports suggesting Archer might opt out of IPL, Morris will be under immense pressure to deliver.
The other major ‘above one crore’ signings for Rajasthan were Shivam Dube (Rs 4.4 crores)
Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.2 crores) and Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore). In Dube, RR has found yet another all-rounder that can serve as a finisher. His presence alongside Morris and Rajasthan’s IPL 2020 star Rahul Tewatia can prove to be extremely beneficial for the team. With Sakariya and Rahman, RR also has more options for pacers. With Archer looking likely to miss the campaign, Mustafizur Rahman may have a big role to play for RR.
Apart from bringing back Liam Livingstone to the team for Rs 75 lakhs, Rajasthan continued their streak of investing in domestic players by acquiring C Cariappa, Akash Singh, and Kuldip Yadav for Rs 20 lakhs each.
After last season’s disastrous, Rajasthan Royals needed pacers (both Indian and overseas), especially for death over bowling along with some good all-rounders that can give them more impetuous in batting and bowling. By the looks of it, it seems that they have done a great job with their acquisitions. With Sanju Samson as captain, RR have ticked many boxes for a good squad through recruitment. It is now all down to star players to step up and deliver consistent performances to help them to lift their second title.
Rajasthan Royals Full Squad: Sanju Samson (c), Andrew Tye, Anuj Rawat, Ben Stokes, David Miller, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Kartik Tyagi, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.
Predicted Playing XI: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi