Anurag Dasgupta ∙ Updated: May 23 2023, 4:38 PM | 3 Min Read

What Went Wrong for RR in IPL 2023?

image-lhyqe2kaRR finished at the 5th position []

It has been a bizarre season for the IPL 2022 finalists, Rajasthan Royals. They started right on the top, but ran out of fuel as the season progressed. Led by Sanju Samson, RR were well on their course to achieve a top-2 finish, but some strange decisions and nail-biting losses led to their exit from the tournament.

A season that started on a promising note, ended in disappointment as the former IPL champion finished at the fifth position.

In this article, we'll dissect what went wrong for the Royals in IPL 2023.

What went wrong for RR?

The Buttler dilemma

What a difference a year can make. Jos Buttler was at the peak of his power in IPL 2022. He finished as the leading run-scorer with 863 runs and took the Royals to the finale. Fast forward to 2023, the England white-ball captain registered five ducks under his name and was outshone by the youngsters.

RR's power lied at the top, with Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson forming a deadly trio. However, Buttler's average season derailed RR's journey in the tournament.

Too many experimentations lead to disaster

RR have made a number of disastrous decisions in the IPL 2023. Despite boasting a power-packed batting lineup, somehow, the team management have always got it wrong when it comes to the batting order. 

For instance, in the game against PBKS, Buttler got injured while fielding. Instead of promoting Devdutt Padikkal at the top (who is a natural opener), they decided to experiment and sent in R Ashwin to open alongside Jaiswal. The decision back-fired as Ashwin failed to make an impact.

The Riyan Parag selection has also raised quite a few eyebrows. Despite having average numbers for the Royals, the team management kept on persisting with him, and the batter failed to deliver the goods. He could only manage 78 runs in 7 matches.

Failed to capitalise on key moments

RR barely lost in the race for top-4. In hindsight, when RR will look back, they'll think about the famous match against the Sunrisers.

In a dramatic finish, SRH needed 5 runs to win on the final delivery of Sandeep Sharma. Abdul Samad, who was at the crease, missed the final delivery and everyone thought Sandeep had sealed the win for the Royals. However, replays showed that the bowler had overstepped and it was called a no-ball. In the very next delivery, Samad finished off in style with a six and RR lost the match from a winning position.

Similarly, in the match against RCB, the Royals needed 172 to clinch the win. But nobody expected RR batters to self-destruct as they were dismissed for 59 that severely hampered their net run-rate.