Preview | Rajasthan Royals | IPL 2018

The champions of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals are all set to make a comeback into the most opulent cricket league in the world after a two-year gap.
After an astounding first season, the franchise dropped down to the sixth position in the points table in 2009. The next three years saw them wandering at the seventh, sixth and seventh position in the points table. In 2013, they failed to get past Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier. Royals dropped down to the fifth position in 2014. RCB knocked them out in the eliminator in the following year.
Upon their comeback, the franchise would be hoping for a performance which at least takes them through to the knockouts. Since 2008, Rajasthan Royals have been known for their investment in the youth. Despite a two-year gap, they have stuck to their strategy of believing in the youth, something which is apparent from looking at their squad on paper.

Expected Playing Eleven

1) D'Arcy Short 2) Ajinkya Rahane (c) 3) Sanju Samson 4) Ben Stokes 5) Jos Buttler (wk) 6) Stuart Binny 7) Krishnappa Gowtham 8) Shreyas Gopal 9) Jofra Archer 10) Dhawal Kulkarni 11) Jaydev Unadkat

Rahane to Rajasthan Royals in IPL 11.
Rajasthan Royals will undoubtedly miss Steven Smith in this season of the IPL. But what has happened has happened and there is no point in discussing about it. Smith's absence has opened the door for an overseas batsman. To accompany captain Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order, Royals might opt for the attacking Australian southpaw, D'Arcy Short. Apart from promoting the left-right combination, both of these batsmen are also likely to complement each other.
Sanju Samson can be trusted upon taking care of the crucial No. 3 position. The soul of Royals' batting line-up will lie in Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. The English duo has got to be at their utmost best for a lot will depend as to how they will fare in the tourney. Their work profile will include both nurturing the innings in the middle overs and using the long handle towards the death overs. Stokes will also be bestowed with the responsibility of bowling his quota of overs.
Stuart Binny has represented the franchise in the past and is likely to play a vital role this time as well. Joining Binny in the playing eleven would be his state-mates in Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal. The spinning duo also has it in it to play the big shots in the slog overs. Jofra Archer, Short's teammate at Hobart Hurricanes, should also join him in the Royals' starting eleven. The Indian duo of Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaydev Unadkat is likely to take the new ball for the Royals.

Bench Strength

In Rahul Tripathi and Prashant Chopra, the franchise has two domestic openers who can come good in this format. Aryaman Birla is more of an unknown name even in the Indian domestic setup. If given a chance, he would want to make a name out of himself. Heinrich Klassen, Smith's replacement in the tournament, is another enthralling prospect who might come in handy for the team during the later stages of the tournament.

Kulkarni has represented Royals in the past.

Royals' overseas fast bowling reserves include Ben Laughlin and Dushmantha Chameera, the former being a seasoned campaigner in Australia's domestic ranks. Anureet Singh will also be given a go as the tournament progresses. Ankit Sharma and Sudhesan Midhun are two Indian spin-bowling options for the franchise. In Jatin Saxena and Mahipal Lomror, they have a couple of Indian spin-bowling all-rounders who can be handy with the bat down the order. Zahir Khan, Afghanistan's 19-year old slow left-arm chinaman bowler, will be the surprising factor in the Royals' dressing room.

Support Staff

Team Mentor - Shane Warne
Batting Coach - Amol Muzumdar
Bowling Coach - Sairaj Bahutule
Fielding Coach - Dishant Yagnik
Physiotherapist - John Gloster

Home Ground

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.

Inaugural Match

09/04/2018 - SunRisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals

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