Rajasthan Royals had a really disappointing IPL 2020, finishing at the bottom of the table. The franchise retained only 16 players, released 8 cricketers and traded Robin Uthappa to Chennai Super Kings. Most notably, RR let go off their former skipper Steve Smith and wicketkeeper Sanju Samson has taken over the captaincy duties ahead of the new season.
Talking about the auction, RR were very keen to add some new players to the roster. The franchise made their intentions clear to bolster the bowling attack as they bought Chris Morris for INR 16.25 crore. Rajasthan Royals have also added Shivam Dube ( INR 4.4 crore), Chetan Sakariya (INR 1.2 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (INR 1 crore) and Liam Livingstone (INR 75 lakh). The franchise has also added few Indian talents in the form of K.C Cariappa, Akash Singh and Kuldip Yadav for INR 20 lakh each. With a perfect blend of youth and experience, the franchise will be able to put a formidable playing XI in IPL 2021.
1. Yashasvi Jaiswal
The left-handed batsman is going to be one of the players to watch out for in IPL 2021. Jaiswal did not get many opportunities to do justice to his talent last season, scoring 40 runs in 3 appearances. With Robin Uthappa released, the 19-year-old is expected to get a longer run at top of the order. With the youngster looking good in domestic circuit recently, this is going to be the breakthrough season for Jaiswal.
2. Jos Buttler
The England cricketer is undoubtedly one of the most explosive openers in the history of IPL. Buttler was pushed down the order last season to accommodate Stokes at top of the order. However, considering his recent performances, the 30-year-old is expected to return to his favoured position in IPL 2021. He will certainly have to produce a sensational season for Rajasthan Royals if the franchise wants to do well this season.
3. Sanju Samson (c/wk)
The wicketkeeper batsman has taken over the captaincy of the franchise from Steve Smith and will want to bat at his preferred No. 3 position. Samson had a decent season in 2020, with 375 runs in 14 matches at a phenomenal strike rate of 158.89. The 26-year-old will be raring to lead his side to their second ever IPL title in 2021.
4. Ben Stokes
The England all-rounder is going to be key player for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. Stokes did play a different role last season as he opened the batting for RR in few matches. However, he is expected to be back in the middle-order this season. The 29-year-old has 920 runs to his name in 42 matches, with 28 wickets as well. Stokes will certainly have to step up his game and contribute with both bat and ball for the franchise this season.
5. Shivam Dube
The franchise has made a very solid addition to their side to provide them the required balance. Shivam Dube was bought for INR 4.4 crore and is expected to play a key role for RR in 2021. The 27-year-0ld is coming on the back of an impressive domestic season and after two below-par seasons with RCB, Dube will certainly be hoping for a breakthrough season with Rajasthan Royals.
6. Riyan Parag
The 19-year-old has been one of the finds of IPL in the last two seasons. Parag is someone who bats lower down the order and can play both the roles of an aggressor or an anchor, depending on the situation. With 246 runs in 19 matches so far, the youngster will have an opportunity to announce himself to the big stage in 2021. He will be a vital cog for the franchise in the lower middle-order.
7. Rahul Tewatia
The spin all-rounder was one of the most talked about players in IPL 2020, especially after smashing 5 consecutive sixes off Sheldon Cottrell. Tewatia had a really impressive season with both bat and ball, with 255 runs and 10 wickets. With his ability to hit big sixes and take crucial wickets, he is going to be the X-Factor player for Rajasthan Royals in 2021. The 27-year-old recently received a maiden India call-up as well and will be riding high on confidence going into the new season.
8. Chris Morris
The South African star cricketer became the most expensive buy in history of IPL auction after getting a bid of INR 16.25 crores from Rajasthan Royals. Morris will have to lead the pace attack in absence of Jofra Archer, who could miss the first part of IPL 2021. The 33-year-old has had an illustrious IPL career, with 551 runs in 80 wickets. It will be really interesting to see if the Protean can live up to his huge price tag.
9. Shreyas Gopal
The Karnataka leg-spinner had a below-par season in 2020, finishing with 10 wickets in 14 matches at an economy of 8.54. Gopal will certainly have to be more effective in the middle-overs to put the opposition on the backfoot. With Mayank Markande also an option, the 27-year-old will have some pressure to deliver performances on a consistent basis to keep his place in the side.
10. Andrew Tye
The Aussie speedster could be the man to take up the responsibility of bowling alongside Morris, in absence of Jofra Archer. Tye is coming on the back of a scintillating BBL 10 where he scalped 21 wickets in 16 matches. With him being a specialist in the shortest format, he might get a nod ahead of new signing Mustafizur Rahman.
11. Kartik Tyagi
The 20-year-old Indian pacer was one of the most exciting youngsters in IPL 2020. Kartik Tyagi made 10 appearances for Rajasthan Royals last season and took 9 wickets. With an ability bowl quick, he can move the ball upfront as well as produce lethal yorkers at the death. Tyagi is undoubtedly going to be the players to watch out for in the upcoming season of IPL.