Can Rajasthan Royals win the IPL after 14 long years?
Royals finished as runners up last season [IPLT20.COM]
Rajasthan Royals had an incredible run in the last season of Indian Premiere League. They dominated the whole season and qualified for the finals, though ended up losing to Gujarat Titans.
The Rajasthan-based franchise went to the mini auctions on 23rd December in Kochi with the little purse of 13.2 Crores and an aim to buy 9 players including 4 overseas players. Despite having only 13.2 Crores in the auctions, RR managed to pick up a few good players and tried to cover up their bases.
Rajasthan started their auction campaign by starting the bid of Harry Brook and went all out for him. Also, they opened bids for high profile players like Sam Curran, Nicholas Pooran, Ben Stokes and Shivam Mavi but their purse value did not allow them to get any of the above mentioned player.
Royals, then went for Jason Holder in a bidding war with Chennai Super Kings. Interestingly, they got Holder at a price of Rs. 5.75 Crores which in many analyst’s opinion, is a steal deal. Apart from Holder, Royals were able to buy players like Australian Wrist Spinner Adam Zampa and former England skipper Joe root at their base prices.
Will Jason Holder solve Rajasthan Royals' number seven muddle?
The inaugural Champions of Indian Premier League went to the mini auctions in Kochi with a prime objective of getting the best suitable player for the no. 7 spot which was their weakness in the last season. With the purse they had, Royals managed to get Jason Holder in the auction.
Jason Holder doesn’t have a reputation as a T20 allrounder, and his batting numbers justify why doesn’t he fit in any franchise’s scheme of things.
Holder, the bowler, has been formidable at any phase of the game. He can make the new ball talk, he can even use his height for extra bounce, and his variations also can fox the batters in the death. However, his batting is what comes under the radar. Just to prove it statistically, he has batted in 149 T20 fixtures to score his 1758 runs at a mortifying average of 15.98. For his national side, Holder hasn’t done anything miraculous with the bat, which his average (15.40) and strike rate (120.68) tell.
On the contrary, the Barbadian could be the best bet for number 7. His batting best has come out at that batting position only - both in T20 and IPL cricket. In all over T20 cricket, he has scored the most number
Meanwhile, Holder has been doing well in death bowling since IPL 2020. In 24 innings, he has taken 26 wickets with an average of 12.3 and a strike rate of 7.3. In fact, he has the best strike rate and average in the IPL, which pushes him ahead of Obed McCoy and Kuldeep Sen in the race.
The untamed challenge(s) for RR:-
Top Order Woes: Last season, the team had struggled in most of the matches where Jos Butler failed to deliver. That seemed the only strategy behind going all out for Harry Brook, but the challenge still stands undaunted.
Death Bowling Struggle: Except Trent Boult none of the team's pacers could perform upto the mark in death overs. Either the team management has not looked upon this issue or they have trusted the pace attack to step up this time.
The current squad after the auction stands as:
Sanju Samson(C), 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, Jason Holder, Adam Zampa, Joe Root, Donovan Ferreira, KM Asif, Murugan Ashwin, Abdul PA, Akash Vashisht, Kunal Rathore.
Jos Butler ✈️
Shimron Hetmyer ✈️
Jason Holder ✈️
Trent Boult ✈️