Rajasthan Royals (RR) are making a comeback in the IPL 2018 season after serving ban for 2 years. They were suspended after the end of 2015 season along with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the wake of a shocking spot-fixing saga.
Royals have achieved very few in the first 8 seasons. They have won the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 led by spin wizard Shane Warne and their record has not been great since then. They have only twice (2013 & 2015) managed to end up in the top 4 in the Points table.
IPL 2018 Team Review
Rajasthan Royals have spent too much on Overseas players. The top two highest buys in the Auction this season belong to this franchise – Ben Stokes (England) was bought for INR 12.5 Crores and Jayadev Unadkat (India) was bought for INR 11.5 Crores.
As expected, Royals announced Steven Smith as their Captain for the 2018 season. He had a great season last year as Captain leading Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) into Final.
The experience of Smith, Stokes and Rahane at the international arena will definitely come in handy in the field. All these three players had played for the same team, RPS, in the last season. The presence of Smith and Stokes in the middle order will take the pressure of their top order.
Ajinkya Rahane is capable of playing in any position. Tripathi scored 391 runs in 14 games in 2017 with a highest score of 93. He can provide a great start as an opener.
If Darcy Short can find a place in the playing XI, there is no stopping the Royals from posting a huge total on the board. Young Jofra Archer is a great asset who can bowl at greater speeds and a good fielder.
Royals have overseas stars but they are heavily lagging behind in the area of Capped-Indian-players. Apart from Rahane, there is no other batsman in the squad who played a good number of games for India.
Bowling heavily depends on the uncapped Indian players. Don’t you need a bunch of Indian players with good experience playing on Indian pitches?
Overall, I can give a 6/10 rating to the Rajasthan Royals IPL 2018 squad. If they don’t get their combinations right, Rajasthan Royals won’t even end up in the top 4 positions of the Points table.
Steven Smith (retained), Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.
Head Coach: Shane Warne
Head of Cricket: Zubin Bharucha
Head of Physio: John Gloster
Batting Coach: Amol Muzumdar
Spin-bowling Coach: Sairaj Bahutule
*Photo credits to The National