IPL 2022: Rajasthan Royals (RR) top-order to do the heavy lifting once again?

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Ahead of the 2022 IPL mega auction, Rajasthan Royals (RR) decided to retain Sanju Samson their captain from last year, Jos Buttler their star batter, and the young Yashasvi Jaiswal who has impressed one and all with his amazing strokeplay last season. Retaining three top-order batters meant RR had to fill up their squad with middle-order batters and build a bowling attack right from scratch at the auctions.

At the end of two days of intense bidding, Rajasthan Royals managed to assemble a squad of 24 players with an overload of top-order bats and some good bowlers. Prasidh Krishna, the rapid Indian pacer was their costliest buy at 10 crores which seems costlier , followed by Shimron Hetmyer and Trent Boult at 8.5 and 8.0 croresrespectively. They also managed to buy the two experienced Indian spinners R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Other notable additions include the ex-RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal, the talented all-rounder Riyan Parag, Kiwi allrounders Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell, South African batter Rassie van der Dussen, and the local bowlers Navdeep Saini and KC Cariappa.

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Let’s now check out whether the Rajasthan Royals squad meets all the basic needs of a T20 lineup from both batting and bowling perspectives.

IPL 2022 RR Analysis: Rajasthan Royals – Batting Requirements

Powerplay Stability & Acceleration

Jos Buttler averages upwards of 50 and strikes close to 150 in the Powerplays in IPL since 2018 and combine him with an intentful Jaiswal, we are looking at quick, powerful starts from Rajasthan Royals every innings. With Padikkal and Samson likely to follow these two, RR are assured of stability at the top of the innings. Powerplay is a phase that they shouldn’t worry much about with their current squad.

Spin Powerhitting

Shimron Hetmyer is one of the most skillful players of spin going around currently. His dominating quick-scoring test knocks on turners in Bangladesh in 2019 is a testament to the fact. But RR might not be able to tap on to his spin hitting skills completely as he’s likely to be used in a pace-hitter role like he did at Delhi Capitals last season. Apart from him, RR have bought the services of D Padikkal who has all the tools to dominate spin but lacks intent at the IPL level unlike in the domestic competitions. Jaiswal is good too and both Samson & Buttler will take care of the off-spinners and plays away spin well too despite being right-handers.

Pace Powerhitting

Buttler and Samson are two good players of pace at the top of the order for Rajasthan Royals, but their problem arises lower down the order. They’re likely to field Hetmyer, Parag, and Neesham as their No.5,6, and 7 . Hetmyer’s game against pace is still a work in progress, Parag has been more of a hit and miss in IPL due to his age and experience and Neesham is mostly one-dimensional with his hitting against pace. Rassie van der Dussen offers good value against pace down the order but he’s been bought as a cover for Hetmyer.

ALSO READ: RCB squad analysis after mega auction

Balance

Rajasthan Royals have a good balance of left and right-handers in their batting lineup which should keep the opposition finger spinners at bay. As far as pace-spin pairings go, they’re good on that front too with Buttler and Samson good vs high -end pace and Jaiswal and Padikkal good vs spin.

Batting Depth

Boult, Chahal, and Prasidh are all genuine No.11’s in any form of the game. RR are likely to have Ashwin at No.8 who doesn’t offer much batting value lower the order. There’s not much with the backups too and their batting ends at No.7 which coupled with a lack of an established pace-hitter down the order smells trouble.

IPL 2022 RR Analysis: Rajasthan Royals – Bowling Requirements

New Ball Threat

Trent Boult’s T20 stakes have raised significantly ever since Mumbai Indians acquired him in 2020 and handed him the new ball. He’s the highest wicket-taker in the powerplays in IPL since 2020 with 21 wickets at a strike rate of 18.57. While he had Bumrah alongside him at MI, he now has to lead the attack here at RR which he had found tough before his MI stint. Ashwin also offers good value with the new ball, but apart from them, there are not many options for RR.

Death overs Specialists

Rajasthan Royals are sure to take a big hit in this phase as none of their frontline pacers can be categorised into the death bowling role. Boult, Prasidh, Coulter-Nile, and Saini all leak runs at a high rate in this phase. The only decent option they have is Obed McCoy who has been impressive with his yorkers and slower balls but he has only been bought as a backup for Boult and is unlikely to be a starter.

Spin Variety

RR have actually done well on this front with the purchases of Ashwin and Chahal. Both are experienced and complement each other pretty well. Apart from them, RR have Parag as a part-time spinning option and they’ve also got the Karnataka mystery spinner KC Cariappa as a backup. RR should do well enough in the middle-overs with the presence of Ashwin and Chahal.

Hit the deck pacers

Prasidh and Saini both are capable of clocking high 140s and can hit the deck hard, but the former lacks control and the latter has been too floaty in the recent past. They’ve bet high on Prasidh after his recent showings in the ODIs against Windies , but his lack of control is still an issue. N Coulter-Nile is another decent option but they can’t play him in the eleven due to their team combination.

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