It’s been 15 years since Rajasthan Royals lifted the trophy of the inaugural season of the IPL. Shane Warne led them to glory in 2008, but since then, they haven’t been able to repeat those heroics. After 14 years, they got to the final again in the last year’s IPL. However, they were unable to win the league. The runners-up of the last season will be eager to complete the unfinished business this year.
Let’s analyze their chances of winning their second IPL trophy in 2023.
RR Squad 2023
The Royals have selected the following squad for the 16th edition of the IPL:
Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jorel, Donovan Ferreira, Kunal Singh Rathore, Sanju Samson(c), Jason Holder, Akash Vashisht, Abdul Basith, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, KM Asif, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Adam Zampa, KC Cariappa, M Ashwin
Rajasthan Royals Likely Starting XI
The best playing XI that the Royals can field is as follows:
- Jos Buttler
- Devdutt Padikkal
- Joe Root
- Sanju Samson (c & wk)
- Shimron Hetmyer
- Riyan Parag
- R Ashwin
- Prasidh Krishna
- Trent Boult
- Navdeep Saini
- Yuzvendra Chahal
RR Squad Strengths
Rajasthan have got a sound squad for the upcoming IPL edition. Let’s discuss their top strengths:
An All-Round Batting Lineup
Jos Butler will once again be the pillar of the RR’s batting unit. IPL 2022 was a dream tournament for the English batsman. He became the 2nd-highest run-getter in a single IPL season by scoring 863 runs. These runs came at an average of 57.53 and a strike rate of 149.05. He also scored 4 hundreds in the event. Jos also has a brilliant overall record in the IPL. In 7 seasons, he has scored 2831 runs at an average of 39.87 and a strike rate of 149.71. So, he has shown both his consistency and destructive ability in the league.
Butler might open the batting with young Devdutt Padikkal. The left-hander has played 3 IPL seasons and scored more than 370 runs in all of them. His strike rate of 124.38 needs improvement, but he certainly has the ability to score runs. Considering their squad, RR should consider bringing Joe Root in at #3. The Englishman is a world-class batsman, and he could be the calming figure in their batting lineup.
The skipper Sanju Samson will be a key figure in Rajasthan’s batting order. The wicketkeeper has 3526 runs in the league at a strike rate of 135.72. He averages 29.14 in 134 IPL innings. Samson’s best season with the bat was IPL 2022. He amassed 458 runs at an average of 28.63. His strike rate was 146.79, and he helped his side get to the final.
Shimron Hetmyer will play the finisher’s role for Rajasthan. He was their second-best batsman in the last IPL. His 314 runs came at an average of 39.25, and he scored 3 half-centuries. The strike rate of 152.2 tells about his dominance in IPL 2022. He needs to be in top form once again to help his side have a decent campaign. Riyan Parag and R Ashwin will be the two sloggers in the lower order. They had a strike rate of 141.38 and 138.64, respectively, in the previous IPL edition. So, the Royals have a strong and all-round batting lineup that can win them matches.
R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Trent Boult are the three experienced campaigners in Rajasthan’s bowling unit. Chahal was the purple cap winner of the previous season with 27 wickets. Overall, he has taken 166 IPL wickets in 131 games. His economy rate of 7.61 is also impressive. He will be the leader of the Royals’ bowling unit in 2023.
Yuzi will be supported by Ash in the spin department. The off-spinner has played 13 IPL seasons and bagged 157 scalps. His economy rate is just 6.98 in 184 matches. Trent Boult will lead the pace attack of the Royals. He has featured in 8 seasons and 78 IPL matches. His 92 wickets in the cash-rich league have come at the expense of 8.3 overs. These 3 experienced campaigners will be responsible for keeping Rajasthan’s bowling attack on track.
RR Squad Weaknesses
The following two flaws may hinder RR’s performance in the upcoming season:
Shimron Hetmyer batted at #5 in the last IPL, and he helped the Royals finish well on several occasions. However, a middle-order batter was able to play the finisher’s role just because Jos Butler was highly consistent in the tournament. Sanju Samson was also in fine touch during the season, so Hetmyer was coming to bat quite late in the innings. But it’s unlikely for Butler and Samson to score that many runs yet again. Therefore, Hetmyer will be batting as a regular middle-order batter.
Consequently, Riyan Parag and R Ashwin will be the two finishers for Rajasthan Royals. With all due respect, these two right-handers are not the best fits for this role. If these two are at the crease and their team requires 10 runs per over for 5 or 6 overs, it’s quite unlikely for them to carry their side over their line. So, that area of the game may concern the Royals.
Ordinary Pace Attack
Trent Boult will lead the pace battery of Rajasthan, with Prasidh Krishna and Navdeep Saini two likeliest options to partner him. This pace trio leaves RR with more questions than answers. Boult will bowl two at the top and then two at the death for the Royals. He is good with the new ball but not so impressive in the slog overs.
Krishna and Saini are more suited in the middle phase of the innings. So, Rajasthan don’t have many options for the other 4 powerplay overs. Also, all three of their 3 pacers could go for plenty in the final few overs. That’s why the pace bowling doesn’t look up to the mark for the IPL 2023.
Players To Watch Out
The 5 most important players of Rajasthan Royals in this IPL edition are:
The orange cap winner and the Player of the tournament in IPL 2022 is Rajasthan’s most valuable player right now. In sportiqo’s market, he will start the tournament with a base price of ₹198. It is also the highest starting price for any cricketer in IPL 2023.
The purple cap winner of the previous season will start his campaign at a price of ₹113. If he continues his form from the previous season, this price can go up a long way.
The other prominent spinner in the Royals’ squad also has the ability to make an impact on the game. His initial value for the league is ₹123.
The captain of Rajasthan has his PCs at a value of ₹156 before the tournament. He is a consistent performer for the Royals, and they will hope for him to continue his fine run of form.
The all-rounder offers several different dimensions to the team he plays for. His PCs are currently available for ₹123.
Rajasthan Royals IPL 2023 Prediction
RR have gathered a quality lot of players for IPL 2023. Their team is well-balanced, and they must make it to the playoffs. But the Royals might not get to the final this time and end their journey in 3rd or 4th position.
Final Prediction: Elimination in Playoffs.