The men from the Pink City must be hoping to put behind them the blues of the past. After all, they entered Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium on the night of March 25 dressed in pink — instead of blue, their traditional color.
After Shane Warne led them to a stunning triumph in the IPL’s inaugural edition in 2008, it hasn’t exactly been a joy ride for Rajasthan Royals.
Rajasthan Royals have always been the dark horse in the IPL. The Royals are generally known for uncovering hidden talent but their run in the tournament has been plagued with a number of controversies and scandals.
Even with an incomparable team and performances from their star players, they still could only manage to finish the IPL 2018 campaign in the fourth position.
Almost 11 years ago, Rajasthan Royals was the first team to lift the IPL trophy. In the past decade, the team has seen many ups and downs but has managed to remain a favorite of the audience.
On 14 July 2015 the verdict reached by a panel appointed by India’s Supreme Court suspended Rajasthan Royals for two years over corruption and match-fixing scandal, meaning they could not participate in both the 2016 and 2017 IPL tournaments.
Returning to Indian Premier League in 2018 after serving a two-year suspension, Rajasthan Royals finished fourth in the previous edition. Jos Butler was in imperious form in the previous edition and it played a big role in them reaching the playoffs, apart from helping him becoming a regular for England in all formats of the game. Rajasthan will be keen to make use of his services again this year.
Ashton James. Who doesn’t remember this name? Ashton James Turner was the man who saved Australia from the jaws of defeat and took them to a memorable victory against India in Mohali. Turner was at his destructive best during that night of Mohali ODI, where he scored an unbeaten 43-ball 84 runs. Most of these runs came against Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the death overs. This is enough to tell you about his ability to score boundaries. On the IPL front, this will be his debut season in the cash-rich league. Rajasthan Royals will want him to repeat his heroics of Mohali for them this season and be the X factor of RR.
Like most of the franchises, the Royals also are a batting heavy side with several reputed batsmen in Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Sanju Samson. Jofra Archer and Krishnappa Gowtham have the potential to give the much-needed momentum towards the death overs. Shane Warne will be the brand ambassador of the franchise for this season after serving in a mentor’s role last year. With one of the wisest brains in world cricket, the team management would want the legendary leggie to come up with new ideas to revive Royals’ fortunes.
The team lacks quality spinners, except New Zealand’s Ish Sodi, who is the best-known spinner in the squad. The team also has left-arm spinner Mahipal Lomror, who is from Rajasthan, but has no real experience in the tournament.
-Written by Sameera