IPL: Rajasthan Royals to have great expectations from Jaiswal-Jurel

After a standout performance in 2022, the Pink Army again blew hot and cold last season

Expectations will be naturally high of the prolific Yashasvi Jaiswal, who shone in the last IPL (photo: BCCI)
Expectations will be naturally high of the prolific Yashasvi Jaiswal, who shone in the last IPL (photo: BCCI)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

After raising title-hopes in the wake of a prolonged lean phase in 2022, Rajasthan Royals blew hot-and-cold again last season and failed to qualify for the play-offs. The Sanju Samson-led team look strong enough on paper but will need more consistency to be in with a chance in the business-end of the tournament.

Expectations will be naturally high of the prolific Yashasvi Jaiswal, who shone in the last IPL but has grown phenomenally in stature during the last Test series against England - while he and Jos Buttler will make for one of the best opening pairs in fray. The England T20 captain may have had a quieter season last time, but the duo can weigh on rival bowlers in the powerplay and shoot down high targets.

There is, however, a distinct problem in the middle order as Samson, who comes in at No.3 oscillates between the sublime and exasperating. After enjoying such a prolonged run at Royals, the immensely gifted Malayali keeper-batter should aim to be the pivot of the team while he is followed by the likes of flashy Shimron Hetmyer and Riyan Parag & co. The team management has invested in England’s Tom Kohler Cadmore and the uncapped Shuvam Dubey, but they are unknown quantities in the IPL ecosystem.

Kumar Sangakkara, Director of Cricket of the team, may be tempted to use a fast maturing Dhruv Jurel in a more important role as the later has shown his ability to shore up an innings on international debut.

The seasoned spin duo of Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal can turn a match on it’s head on drier surfaces but there will be some concern with the pace attack as international Prasidh Krishna has been ruled out of the entire season. A lot will rest on the shoulders of the canny Trent Boult even though they have acquired Nandre Burger, another left-arm quick from South Africa, who is nippy and generate a disconcerting bounce.

However, with the cap on overseas players in a playing XI, it remains to be seen how often Burger makes the squad. There are, of course, Avesh Khan and Navdeep Saini on the roster as well and the team management should do well to narrow down on a settled first team at the earliest – as this has been a problem with the team in recent years.

Another problem with the roster is that there are only 22 players on board – which actually leaves them two to three players short. This could be a challenge in a long season in case of under-performance of certain players or injuries.

Owners: Consortium of Emerging Media, Lachlan Murdoch & Red Bird Media

Captain: Sanju Samson

Coach: Kumar Sangakkara

Best finish: Winners 2008

Full team list

Sanju Samson (c), Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Donovan Ferreira, Kunal Rathore, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Sen, Navdeep Saini, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Sharma, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Avesh Khan, Rovman Powell, Shubham Dubey, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Abid Mushtaq, Nandre Burger.

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