IPL 2021 RR Team Preview and Predictions: With Samson as skipper and Morris at the helm, Rajasthan Royals aim for consistency
Jofra Archer's unavailability for at least the first four matches is a cause of concern for Rajasthan Royals.
Who, if not the stars?
For two years now, Rajasthan Royals have finished among the bottom two teams in the IPL and given that they have some truly incredible players in Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler, it is quite disappointing.
However, the problem has been with the supporting cast which has not been able to rise to the occasion. Rajasthan have tried to plug this hole this time around by bringing in Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Liam Livingstone and Shivam Dube.
Buttler, Samson, Stokes - RR's top 3
Morris was their biggest buy in the auctions and was expected to pair jofra Archer in a mouth-watering new-ball bowling pair. However, their expectations suffered a jolt when Archer had to undergo a surgery on his injured hand after missing the ODIs against India and will not be part of at least the first four matches of the franchise.
Jofra Archer's unavailability though will give Rajasthan Royals an opportunity to try out Liam Livingstone in the middle order which was the biggest worry for Royals in the past edition apart from their weak death bowling.
Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, who has taken over the captaincy from Steve Smith, and Ben Stokes will form the top 3 for Rajasthan. All-rounder Shivam Dube who was released by Bangalore last year provides the team with another bowling option.
Time for Morris to repay for big bucks
Chris Morris will be in the role of the finisher and will also be expected to bowl his quota of four over in all the matches.
Rahul Tewatia, who single-handedly won Rajasthan Royals a couple of matches in the last edition, will bat in the lower middle order and will be handy with his wrist spin, partnering Shreyas Gopal.
Kartik Tyagi - RR's leading Indian pacer
Kartik Tyagi impressed one and all in the last season and will be their leading Indian pacer unless Rajasthan play Mustafizur Rahman while using an Indian batsman instead of Liam Livingstone.
Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya will compete for the spot of the second Indian pacer.
Rajasthan Royals also have a few other players in their reserves who are totally capable of walking in the playing XI when required and making a mark. David Miller is one such proven talent who has put in match winning performances over the past several years.
In terms of Indian batsmen, Rajasthan have Yashasvi Jaiswal as an extra opener and Manan Vohra and Mahipal Lomror who can bat in the middle order. Andrew Tye provides a good overseas death bowling option.
Top Batsman - Runs Scored - Jos Buttler
Top Bowler - Wickets Taken - Chris Morris
Most Sixes - Liam Livingstone
Predicted starting XI
Rajasthan Royals – Jos Buttler (WK), Sanju Samson (C&WK), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Liam Livingstone, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal & Kartik Tyagi.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) - Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
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