Category Archives: RR

IPL 2018: Will he be perfect addition to the Rajasthan Royals squad?

01

With Rajasthan Royals opting to retain just one player, Steve Smith, they will be going into the auction with almost a clean slate. Considering that they have to build the whole squad, they would want to keep their core strong and one of the most crucial roles in T20s is that of an all-rounder.

Therefore, it is but natural that they will want to buy the best in business, and few other than Shakib Al Hasan fit the bill. The former Kolkata Knight Riders star wasn’t retained by his side and because they held on to two foreign players in Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, the Kolkata-based outfit wouldn’t be able to use the Right to Match (RTM) card on him as well.

The Bangladesh all-rounder had a great start to his IPL career in 2011 when he picked 11 wickets in only seven appearances. He continued his good run of form in the following season and bagged 12 wickets to help KKR win the IPL. Though he missed the next edition of the tournament, he returned in 2014 to score 227 runs and pick 12 wickets and ensure the Kolkata-based franchise win their second title.

However, the three editions which followed the 2014 season weren’t as good for Shakib and he featured in only 15 matches. During that time, players like Russell rose through the ranks and became an important part of the unit which prompted KKR to let Shakib go.

Though Rajasthan go in the auction with the biggest purse, along with Kings XI Punjab, the fact that they have to build up at least an 18-player squad will force their management’s hands at not splurging a large amount on one player. Which means they won’t be going behind the usual suspects in Ben Stokes, Krunal Pandya and the likes.

This means that Shakib, most probably, won’t be attracting as big a bid and Rajasthan would still be left with a purse big enough to add even more world-class players. Moreover, the left-hander has been in great form recently and has picked 11 wickets in his last five T20 matches.

Rajasthan Royals could do a world of good to themselves by opting to buy the Bangladesh all-rounder as he won’t cost as much as the other all-rounders in the fray. Moreover, Shakib has proved himself time and again at the international level and in various T20 leagues around the world and can prove to be a great buy.

IPL 2018: Players Rajasthan Royals (RR) should retain

Rajasthan Royals were the inaugural champions of the IPL in 2008 and will be back in the fray after two years of suspension. The tournament’s governing council has confirmed that all teams will have the option of retaining a select number of players.

RR was suspended owing to the 2013 spot-fixing scandal, which shook the league to its core and allegedly involved not just players but also some top officials of the franchise.

The player pool available for RR for retention/RTM will be the players’ who played for them in IPL 2015 and who were part of RPS and Gujarat Lions squads in IPL 2017.

Here are the players that Rajasthan Royals should absolutely retain (1 retention + 2 RTM card) for the 2018 season:

1. Steven Smith

Steve Smith

Rajasthan Royals should look to secure the services of Australian skipper Steven Smith. The right-hander has played some valuable knocks for the franchise during the previous seasons. In fact, his lone century in the shortest format came for Rajasthan against Chennai Super Kings.

Leading Supergiant, Smith came close to tasting IPL glory. However, his team lost a close match in the 2017 final against Mumbai Indians. His captaincy was appreciated after leading the side to a creditable second spot. Several players like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat were all groomed under Smith’s captaincy.Rajasthan would be more than happy to retain him as not just as player but also as their captain.

2. Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane

Rajasthan can retain Ajinkya Rahane as he was playing in the team right when they were suspended. He has mainly played as an opener in Royals team over the years.

It was under Rahul Dravid’s coaching where Rahane really played some great knocks for the Royals. He scored 372 runs for Rising Pune Supergiant in last year’s IPL season. Across all seasons, he has scored 3057 runs in 111 matches with 1 century and 25 half centuries.

Rahane has a point to prove that he belongs to limited overs format and that he can also adapt to different situations. Having led India to a series-deciding triumph in the Dharamsala Test as well as sporadic captaincy appearances for Supergiant, he has reasonable leadership experience.

3. James Faulkner

James Faulkner

James Faulkner can be retained by the Rajasthan Royals as he was part of the team in 2015 before the franchise got suspended. The Australian can be very handy both with the bat and ball.

Faulkner has also finished games for Rajasthan with the bat. Though his recent form does not appear adequate, he is a proven batsman during pressure situations in the death overs. Considering he is just 28 years of age, it will be a wise decision for the Royals to retain the all-rounder.