Rajasthan Royals have had a very disruptive season in this year’s IPL. They have had their main players missing through injuries and personal reasons and have had little or no room to rotate. However, they have still managed to somehow stay along and be in a position where they can reach the playoffs when the tournament resumes again later this year.
Till now, Rajasthan played 7 matches, winning three and losing four of them and they have a net run-rate of -0.190. They are currently fifth in the table.
Rajasthan Royals Squad: Sanju Samson (C), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye (left IPL for personal reasons on April 26), Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahim, Chetan Sakariya, K.C. Cariappa, Liam Livingstone (left IPL for personal reasons), Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
Here is a SWOT analysis of the RR team based on their performances in this year’s IPL so far.
TOP-ORDER BATTING: Buttler and Samson have been among the runs for Rajasthan. While Buttler has scored 254 runs from 7 games, Samson has recorded 277 from the same number of matches. Both of them have hit a century each.
CHRIS MORRIS: Their top-dollar signing has returned with a bang and put his hand up whenever called upon. With no Archer in the squad, Morris has been among the wickets and picked up 14 from 7 games till now. Morris has also been striking the ball at 154.83 lower down the batting order.
LACK OF CONSISTENCY: Like most bottom-placed sides, the RR side has had an inconsistent season. Both Buttler and Samson have scored big runs but they have come in the form of huge runs in one innings rather than spread across to a few match-winning knocks.
MAIN PLAYERS MISSING: The problem for Rajasthan has been the absence of their match winners in Stokes and Archer. The fact that Liam Livingstone also left because of pandemic fatigue, meant that they only had four overseas players at one point with little room to change.
RETURN OF FIRST-CHOICE PLAYERS: The postponement could come as a boon for Rajasthan. They could hope that their injured mainstays in Archer and Stokes recover and can play a part for them in the second half of the tournament in the UAE.
PUSH FOR PLAYOFFs: Rajasthan are sitting just two points off the playoffs spot and if they can have their main players back, they can push for a top-four finish towards the second half of the season. Five wins out of seven could give them a playoffs berth.
PLAYERS BACKING OUT: Rajasthan Royals are in a tricky situation. They suffered immensely because of injuries to Archer and Stokes but they can have them back because of the postponement. That’s a positive. However, like most teams and players, their respective countries might not give a NOC to their players and that would mean the respective players cannot take part in the tournament. In that case, RR will not only lose Archer and Stokes permanently for the season but also their top run-scorer this season in Buttler.
IPL 2021 is likely to be played from September 19 to October 15 in the UAE. A total of 31 matches will be played in 27 days.