The Rajasthan Royals enter the latest season of IPL with a cloud of controversy behind them. Nevertheless they boast of the likes of World Cup winning players such as Steve Smith,Shane Watson and James Faulkner which is sure to lead to an influx of winning mentality in the dressing room.The Royals have chosen to have almost an unchanged team and has had only a few additions, the most prolific of them being Chris Morris who was bought for a sum of 1.4 crore. Rahul Dravid will be anchoring the team behind the scenes as the ‘team mentor’ and Jaipur would not like to lose the credentials of being a team difficult to beat at their ‘fort’.
Squad: Shane Watson(O), Stuart Binny,James Faulkner(O), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith(O), Rajat Bhatia, Tim Southee(O), Dhawal Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar, Kane Richardson(O), Ben Cutting(O), Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Dishant Yagnik, Vikramjeet Malik, Ankit Sharma, Rahul Tewatia, Pravin Tambe, Chris Morris(O), Dinesh Salunkhe, Juan Theron(O), Pradeep Sahu, Barinder Saran, Sagar Trivedi
Players Retained:Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik
Players Released: Amit Mishra, Ankush Bains, Brad Hodge
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Shane Watson
Most Expensive Player: Chris Morris (South Africa) – 1.4 crore
IPL 7 position:5th
Owners: Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd
Keys to success:
1. Unchanged Team: The Rajasthan Royals this time almost has an unchanged team from the previous season with only three players released. It gives the Royals the necessary impetus to start off with a bang ,while the other teams would require time to run their engines in full flow. A good start creates the momentum for the rest of the tournament and the Royals already have the necessary ingredients for that.
2. Australian Players: The blues have in their ranks the likes of Shane Watson, Steven Smith and James Faulkner; all of whom had a big role to play in their country’s World Cup winning story. All the Aussies are allrounders and this gives them an added advantage especially in a format like t20 where the allrounders are worth their weight in gold.
3. Rahul Dravid: The presence of Rahul Dravid as the team ‘mentor’ is sure to be a big boost for the Royals. The foundations of the current team had been laid by Dravid and the impact of his presence will be felt especially when it comes to team strategy and motivation.
Likely Playing XI : Shane Watson(C), Steve Smith,James Faulkner, Tim Southee, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson(WK), Stuart Binny, Pravin Tambe, Rajat Bhatia, Karun Nair & Abhishek Nayar.
*O: Overseas Player