While the Rajasthan Royals did become the inaugural champions of the Indian Premier League when Shane Warne led them to the title in the inaugural season, they haven't been able to replicate the same feat in the subsequent twelve seasons. And they will still not be consistent enough in the 14th edition of the tournament as they find themselves at fifth place in the points tally with three wins and four defeats from seven matches.
Although it is a fact that they would continue to miss some of their key players in the second half of the competition, their own performance in the inaugural season where they punched above their weights to win the competition could serve as their inspiration.
Here is a quick recap of RR's season so far:
RR vs PBKS- 12 April 2021- Rajasthan lose by 4 runs
While it was a superb game of cricket to witness for the neutral fans, that wasn't the case for Rajasthan Royals supporters as they faced a heartbreaking defeat. Punjab Kings made 221/6 batting first and yet they had not batted out their opponents as they were still in the run chase till the last ball of the match with captain Sanju Samson, who was batting on 119, needing to clear the boundary to win the match. Samson went for it and for a brief while it seemed to be sailing over the fence only to be caught by the fielder as PBKS won by 4 runs. Despite being on the losing side, Samson was the Player of the Match.
RR vs DC- 15 April 2021- RR win by 3 wickets
Winning the toss and opting to bowl first, Rajasthan Royals restricted the Delhi Capitals to 147/8, thanks to Jaydev Unadkat's splendid bowling as he ended up with figures of 3/15. In response, Rajasthan were 42/5 at one stage but David Miller's 43-ball 62 and more importantly Chris Morris' 18-ball 36 helped Rajasthan finish the chase in the last over. Unadkat was adjudged the Man of the Match.
RR vs CSK- 19 April 2021- RR lose by 45 runs
While Rajasthan yet again won the toss and opted to bowl, this time they were up against Chennai Super Kings. Starts from several of Chennai batters propelled them to a solid total of 188-9 with Faf du Plessis' 33 ending up as the highest individual score. In response, Rajasthan lost their way in the middle and could not really recover with Moeen Ali doing the damage with the ball in hand for CSK as he scalped 3 wickets for 7 runs in his 3 overs.
RR vs RCB- 22 April 2021- RR lose by 10 wickets
RR had to bat first in this match and their batters put on a good score despite losing wickets at regular intervals with all-rounders Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia emerging as the team's saviour. As RR posted 177/9, the match was expected to be a thrilling one. However, RCB openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal made it a one-sided affair with the left-handed Padikkal reaching his first hundred in IPL. The two remained unseparated and chased down the target in 16.3 overs resulting in an embarrassing defeat for RR. Kohli finished with an unbeaten 72.
RR vs KKR- 24 April 2021- RR win by 6 wickets
RR stuck to their plan of winning the toss and opting to chase and this time around the results were finally in their favour after two comprehensive defeats in their last two matches. They restricted KKR to 133/9, thanks to Chris Morris who picked up 4 for 23. In response, Samson remained unbeaten on 42 as Rajasthan chased down the target with 7 balls remaining.
RR vs MI- 29 April 2021- RR lose by 7 wickets
If a word comes close to defining RR's campaign year after year it is inconsistent. There have been moments of brilliance but even after their win over RR, they succumbed to a 7-wicket defeat against defending champions Mumbai Indians. MI bowled first and led by Samson and Jos Buttler RR scored 171/4 but Quinton de Kock's unbeaten 70 off 50 deliveries meant MI cruised to a win in 18.3 overs.
RR vs SRH- 2 May 2021- RR win by 55 runs
This time RR were asked to bat first again by the opposition captain and they made most of the opportunity. Led by a Jos Buttler hundred (124), RR scored 220/3 and then restricted a struggling SRH to 165/8. Mustafizur Rahman and Chris Morris scalped 3 wickets apiece.
Rajasthan Royals will play now resume their IPL 2021 campaign against the Punjab Kings on September 21, 2021, at the Dubai International Stadium.