Rajasthan Royals IPL 2020 Preview

RR IPL 2020 Previews

Rajasthan made IPL history when they lifted the inaugural title in 2008. Since then it’s been harder work with only three returns to the playoffs. Their inconsistency does not make them a friend of the punter.

They missed out on the 2016 and 2017 tournaments through suspension.

RR IPL 2020 Squad

HEAD COACH: Andrew McDonald. 

CAPTAIN: Steve Smith

Smith has an excellent record as captain in the IPL with only nine defeats in 29 matches. At various stages, he has skippered three different sides in the competition and led the Royals to the playoffs in 2015.

He has not captained a side in the Indian Premier League recently and will be hoping to rely on senior players. The advantage of Smith as a leader is that his performance does not tend to dip with the added responsibility. He’s a character that lives and breathes the game 24/7 anyway.

Steve Smith leads the Royals this year

OVERSEAS PLAYERS
Oshane Thomas (West Indies), Steve Smith and Andrew Tye (Australia), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer Tom Curran and Jos Buttler (England), David Miller (South Africa)

INDIAN PLAYERS

Ankit Rajpoot, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Akash Singh, Anirudha Joshi, Anuj Rawat, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Robin Uthappa, Yashasvi Jaiswal

THE TEAM

Rajasthan Royals will need all of their marquee players to stand up if they are to threaten the latter stages of IPL 2020. Of the eight sides on show they have the least international experience of any of the squads (992 caps across all three formats) and the vast majority of that top-level experience comes from four players – Smith, Ben Stokes, David Miller and Jos Buttler. And Stokes may miss a huge chunk of the competition with his father seriously ill in New Zealand.

Can Rajasthan Royals win the IPL 2020?

REASONS TO BELIEVE

  • ENGLISH INFLUENCE KEY

Of the eight overseas players in the Royals’ squad, the likely four starters are Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer. The recent success England have enjoyed in white-ball cricket gives the English contingent a winning mentality. Tom Curran is also in the squad and pushing for a spot.

The England trio set to light up the Royals IPL season

  • ANDREW McDONALD

Most IPL sides like the big star coach, but it is typical of Rajasthan that they have appointed someone a bit lower on the radar. Big named star coaches have not always been successful, and Andrew McDonald played four Tests for Australia in 2009 and has also played in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils.

He has coached Leicestershire, Victoria and gained experience in the Big Bash League and is widely regarded as one of the brightest coaching talents around. The assistant coach to Justin Langer in the Australian set up may not have 600 Test wickets, but he knows how to coach a cricket team.

  • JOS BUTTLER

Put me in charge of a T20 franchise and Jos Buttler would top the list of players I’d buy at the auction. Buttler is capable of anything against the white ball and can win matches on his own.

  • SANJU SAMSON

When discussion involves stars of the competition, Sanju Samson rarely gets a mention, but the 25-year-old is one of a select group to have scored two centuries in previous IPLs – only Chris Gayle (6), Virat Kohli, Shane Watson (4), AB de Villers, David Warner (3) have scored more. The wicket-keeper batsman was back in the India T20I side in February and will be keen to enjoy a successful IPL to further his case for more caps.

  • GOOD DOMESTIC TALENT

Spinners Mayank Markande and Shreyas Gopal will be crucial. Add young India Under-19 players Akash Singh and Kartik Tyagi as emerging players to watch and there is strength in the local talent. Jaydev Unadkat has been with Rajasthan since 2018 and is fresh from captaining Saurashtra to Ranji Trophy triumph. The left-armer finished with a tournament-high 67 wickets and is high on confidence.

Despite all this when we checkout the odds on our cricket betting apps we see that the Royals are the longest odds of any team – A massive 11/1 to win the tournament!

REASONS TO BACK AGAINST RAJASTHAN?

  • HOW MUCH WILL WE SEE OF BEN STOKES

Of course, everyone understands why Ben Stokes is currently in New Zealand after his father was diagnosed with brain cancer and we wish all the Stokes family well. But his potential absence would be a major blow for the Royals. Stokes is yet to confirm his availability and certainly looks set to miss the opening matches. Not only is Stokes one of the best players in the world and a certainty to make the starting XI, but he is also an allrounder and, as we’ve seen with England when he doesn’t play he takes some replacing and affects the balance of the side.

  • IS THE CAPTAIN A CERTAIN STARTER?

Steve Smith’s weakest link is T20. He is still seriously good, but with only four overseas spots and the big-hitting South African David Miller seeking a starting berth, will the skipper get off to the powerful start required to quieten talk about his position in the team? His tole may be to be the anchor in top order of big hitters. But then where does that leave Robin Uthappa who has had an incredible IPL career? It isn’t a problem yet, but it could become messy.

CHANCES OF THEM WINNING THE TITLE

I asked three IPL expert pundits to give each of the eight franchises a score out of 10 to reflect their likelihood of winning IPL 2020.

Rajasthan scored 52% (7th of the 8 teams)

RECOMMENDED BETTING MARKETS

  • 20 units on Rajasthan Royals to Finish Bottom @ 10/3 with SkyBet
  • 10 units on Sanju Samson to be Rajasthan Royals batsman @ 10/3 with Betfair
  • 10 unites on Jaydev Unadkat to be Rajasthan Royals bowler @ 10/3 with MarathonBet

You can see all our IPL betting previews on our Cricket tips blog here.

Author: James Buttler
Follow James on Twitter @cricket_badger and listen to his Cricket Badger Podcast here.

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