Rajasthan Royals had an underwhelming IPL 2020 and it was expected that they will ring in some major changes.
Their biggest decision was letting go of their captain, Steve Smith. After releasing Smith and a couple of other players, Rajasthan were left with a purse of 37.85 crores.
The Royals have handed over the captain’s arm band to Sanju Samson this year.
It’s fair to say that bowling was their weak link last. Even though Jofra Archer had a brilliant stint, the others faltered and as a result, RR leaked points which ultimately cost them dearly.
To address this issue, RR broke the bank for South African, Chris Morris.
Morris was bought by Rajasthan Royals for an eye-popping sum of 16.25 crores, making him the most expensive buy in IPL history
Morris played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2020 and proved his worth with 11 wickets in nine games at an impressive economy rate of 6.63.
Morris is also a hard-hitting batsman, capable of being a pinch-hitter and a finisher, a trait which would have added to his value.
To further replenish the fast bowling department, RR have picked up Mustafizur ‘Fizz’ Rahman, who is genuinely quick and could well be the surprise package.
The other key player for RR is the defining English all-rounder of the modern era, Ben Stokes.
Stokes hit top batting form in the ODI series against India and RR will hope that as an opener, he can provide RR with the kind of rollicking starts which they lacked last time.
Their batting line-up comprising Samson, Stokes, Buttler, Tewatia and Morris looks formidable on paper and can demolish any attack, on their day.
Overall, RR have been conservative but smart in the auctions.
Apart from Rahman and Morris, their other buys include Shivam Dube (4.3 crore), KC Cariappa (20 lakh), Chetan Sakariya (1.2 crore), Akash Singh (20 lakh), and Liam Livingstone (75 lakhs).
Interestingly RR have bought in Sri Lankan legend, Kumar Sangakkara as ‘Director of Cricket’. Along with chief mentor, Shane Warne, Sangakkara can provide valuable inputs on team selection and strategy.
Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Robin Uthappa
Shivam Dube (Rs 4.40 crore), Chris Morris (Rs 16.25 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1.00 crore), Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.20 crore), KC Cariappa (Rs 0.20 crore), Liam Livingstone (Rs 0.75 crore), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 0.20 crore), Akash Singh (Rs 0.20 crore)
Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Akash Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Anirudha Joshi, Shashank Singh