What should be the Auction game for Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2023?

image-lbxpdvntRR management during IPL 2022 Auction

After retaining their skipper Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and the young talent Yashasvi Jaiswal ahead of the Mega Auction, Rajasthan Royals bought big names like Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult, and Shimron Hetmyer. 

Overall, the Royals did a fantastic job in the Mega Auction before the IPL 2022, which was evident in the season later on. They went to the finals, though they couldn’t get the trophy for the second time and lost against one of the latest teams in the league, the Gujarat Titans.

Now moving forward to the next IPL Season, the Mini Auction is set to take place on 23rd December 2022 in Kochi. The Rajasthan-based franchise was able to keep its core team despite releasing nine players, including Jimmy Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who surely are quite big names in the cricket world.

Current Royals Squad

Sanju Samson, Jos Butler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa, R Ashwin, Dhruv Jurel, Kuldeep Sen, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy.

image-lbxpu2gjA still from IPL 2022 Final

Probable XI

Jos Butler✈️
Yashasvi Jaiswal
Devdutt Padikkal
Sanju Samson
Riyan Parag
Shimron Hetmyer✈️
Ravi Ashwin
Prasidh Krishna
Obed McCoy✈️
Trent Boult✈️
Yuzvendra Chahal

Auction Mathematics for RR

Purse Left: 13.2 Crores
Total slots left: 9
Overseas Slots remaining: 4

In the last season, Rajasthan Royals’ weakness surely was that number 7 Spot, which in my opinion, cost them the silverware. They would want to fill that slot by buying an overseas fast-bowling allrounder in the auction. But would the budget allow them to do so?

Players to target for No. 7 Spot

Every franchise will be keeping their eyes on Sam Curran, but thanks to their purse, Rajasthan Royals won’t even be in the race. 

image-lbxpnvihSam Curran played in the IPL in 2021

Jason Holder should be the Royals' first choice for the number 7 spot. They went really hard for Holder in the last auction but could not get him. If not him, then they might try to bid for Romario Shepherd or Odean Smith.

Indian allrounder as backup

This can be another tricky pick for the Royals family as Indian fast bowling allrounders are scarce, and most of the known allrounders were retained by the respective franchises. Prerak Mankad from Saurashtra can be a decent pick for them as he has been doing exceeding well of late.

Other Backups

As a backup for Ashwin and Riyan Parag, Rajasthan might go back to their hattrick man - the spin bowling allrounder, Shreyas Gopal. He has served them in the past and is accustomed to Sanju's captaincy as well.

image-lbxpqy0cShreyas Gopal has been a gun performer for RR in the past

Apart from these picks, Rajasthan would need backups for players like Padikal, Buttler, Hetmyer and Boult - but will their purse allow such luxury after filling the most-wanted No. 7 spot?

Rajasthan Royals are known for buying young and unheard talents, we might see more such players being bought by the franchise this year too. As a die-hard RR fan myself, I wish them all the very best for the auction.

Read More: Five big names who might go unsold in IPL 2023 Mini Auction