The first-ever XI of Rajasthan Royals: Where are they now?

image-lfjjfgqpRajasthan Royals (Source: Twitter)

The inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2008) was won by Rajasthan Royals under the leadership of Shane Warne.  In their debut match of the grandest league of the tournament, RR faced off against the now disbanded Delhi Daredevils. They did not put up an impressive performance in the first clash and lost it by nine wickets with about five overs remaining in the match. 

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After losing the match rather convincingly the Royals made a comeback and what was scripted next is there for all to see. But as we talk about the first match of the Royals in the tournament, let us take a look at the eleven that they fielded for this match and where the players are now. 

Rajasthan Royals First Ever XI

image-lfmnz6hoFirst Ever XI of Rajasthan Royals (Source: OneCricket)

Now let us take a deeper look at these players:

1.Taruwar Kohli: The Indian opener was an integral part of the India U-19 squad that won the World Cup under the leadership of Virat Kohli. Taruwar Kohli opened the innings for the Rajasthan Royals in their first ever IPL match alongside Yusuf Pathan. Kohli scored 7 runs off 12 balls and was dismissed by Glenn McGrath.

image-lfjft08gTaruwar Kohli opened the innings for the Royals in their first ever IPL match (Source: Twitter)

After Rajasthan Roylas, Taruwar went on to be a part of the Kings XI Punjab in 2009. His last ever IPL match was for the KXIP against KKR. Taruwar is still active in the Indian domestic circuit playing for Punjab.

2. Yusuf Pathan: It was at this time that Yusuf Pathan was making his name as an explosive top-order batter in the shortest format of the game. In the first match for the Royals he opened the innings and scored 10 runs off 5 deliveries. 

image-lfjgadz5Yusuf Pathan opened the innings for Rajasthan Royals in their first match (Source: Twitter)

After having a successful stint with the Royals, Yusuf was taken up by Kolkata Knight Riders and he did a great job there too. He played a key role in the Knights' two championship efforts and later on was also a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad set-up.  Recently Yusuf was seen playing for the India Maharajas in Legends League Cricket 2023.

3. Shane Watson: The Aussie all-rounder played at number three in this match for the Royals. Shane Watson was instrumental in Rajasthan winning the inaugural edition. He scored 21 runs off 15 balls in the match and bowled 4 overs conceding 31 runs in them while picking up a wicket. However, his performances picked after this and he walked away with the 'Player of the Series' award. 

image-lfjgl01nShane Watson was the number three batter for Rajasthan Royals in their first ever IPL match (Source: Twitter)

Moving on from the Royals set-up, Yusuf Pathan became a part of the Royal Challengers and then was a part of the Chennai Super Kings for his last three seasons in the league. He won the trophy with the Super Kings and after that decided to retire in 2019. Watson can nowadays be seen as a commentary for different channels. 

4. Mohammad Kaif: The Indian middle-order batter was batting at number four for the Royals in this match. He played a knock of 9 runs from 19 balls and was dismissed by Rajat Bhatia. 

image-lfjgvhetMohammad Kaif played at number four for Rajasthan Royals in their first ever match (Source: Twitter)

Kaif was a part of the Indian set-up from 2000 to 2006. He came into the limelight for his fielding and his fame grew after he played a match-winning knock in the Natwest 2003 final against England. Kaif was recently a part of the India Maharajas squad for the Legends League Cricket 2023. He can be currently seen working in the capacity of the fielding coach for the Delhi Capitals. 

5. Darren Lehmann: The Aussie legend batted at number five for Rajasthan Royals in this match. Darren Lehmann scored just a single off two balls in the match. 

image-lfjh90a4Darren Lehmann was a part of the first ever XI for the Royals in IPL (Source: Twitter)

Lehmann was a part of the Australian team from 1996-2005. He was an integral member of the Australian squad that won the World Cup in 1999 and 2003. Lehmann later on was seen as the coach of the Deccan Chargers from 2009-2013 and the Kings XI Punjab in 2014. The former Australian south-paw later coached the Australian national team. Darren Lehmann can now be seen commentating.

6. Ravindra Jadeja: The star Indian all-rounder was just a developing player at that stage. Ravindra Jadeja played an integral part for the team in the season. He scored 29 runs off 23 balls in the match and later on in the tournament also played a major role with the ball. 

image-lfjhm946Ravindra Jadeja was a big part of the Rajasthan Royals winning the inaugural edition of the IPL (Source: Twitter)

Jadeja later on played for Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Gujarat Lions in the tournament. But he had his best time in the league while playing for the Chennai Super Kings. Jadeja is now a very important member of the Chennai Super Kings and also the Indian national team.

7. Mahesh Rawat : Mahesh Rawat kept the wickets and batted at number seven for the Rajasthan Royals. He scored just 2 runs off 4 balls before being bowled by Rajat Bhatia. 

image-lfji01esMahesh Rawat was the wicketkeeper in the first ever XI of the Rajasthan Royals (Source: Twitter)

Rawat played in the domestic circuit for the Railways. Being a keeper batter in the era of MS Dhoni, Rawat was unable to make a break into the Indian squad. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2020.

8. Dinesh Salunkhe: The all-rounder batted at number eight in this match and helped the team reach a modest total of 129 runs by the end of their innings. Salunke bowled a single over in the match and conceded 11 runs in them. 

image-lfji9ncbDinesh Salunkhe was a part of the first ever XI of the Rajasthan Royals (Source: Twitter)

He has never made any first class appearance all that matches that he played are in the T20 format. His last match in the IPL was in the 2008 season itself against the Kings XI Punjab. Salunkhe is still active as a player in the regional T20 circuit.

9. Shane Warne: The Australian spin wizard was the leader of this team and batted at number nine in this match for the Royals. Shane Warne scored 14 runs off 13 balls and later with the ball, bowled a couple of overs for 16 runs. 

image-lfjimw1iShane Warne was the captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the 2008 season (Source: Twitter)

Shane Warne was one of the biggest legends of the game. He played 145 Test matches and picked up 705 wickets in them and still the second highest wicket taker in the world in this format. In 194 ODIs, Warne picked up 293 wickets and then after retiring went on to play franchise cricket around the world. 

He was an inspirational leader and his captaincy skills was one of the main reasons for which the Royals were able to win the IPL 2008 title. Unfortunately for the cricketing fraternity, Shane Warne breathed his last on 4th of March, 2022.

10. Siddharth Trivedi: The Indian medium-pace bowler played a great role for the Royals in the inaugural edition for the Royals. In this match, he scored three runs off 7 deliveries and did not have good time with the ball. He bowled three overs and conceded 32 runs in them without picking up a single wicket. 

image-lfjiymh2Siddharth Trivedi was a part of the first ever Rajasthan Royals' XI in IPL (Source: Twitter)

Trivedi played 76 matches for the Royals and picked up 65 wickets in them. He was last seen in IPL in the year 2013, after he was suspended as he failed to report that the bookies approached him during the tournament. He continued to play domestic cricket till 2015 and has stayed mostly out of the limelight since then.

11.  Munaf Patel: The Indian pacer played in this match as the lead pace bowling option for the team. He bowled 3 overs in the match and conceded 25 runs in them but failed to pick up a wicket. 

image-lfjjbep5Munaf Patel was the lead bowler in the first match of the Rajasthan Royals in IPL (Source: Twitter)

In the initial stages of his career, Patel considered one of the fastest bowlers in the scene. He soon got into the Indian mainframe and played his debut match for the national team in 2006. Besides playing for the Royals, Munaf also played for Mumbai Indians.

 With the passing of time, Patel lost his pace and with that a dip came in his performances also. He was last seen playing for Indian in September 2011. Munaf hung up his boots in 2017. He was a part of the India Legends side in the Road Safety World Series 2022.