Starting off with a fairytale victory, Rajasthan Royals have tapered off subsequently in the Indian Premier League. After winning the first season under Shane Warne’s leadership, Royals are yet to play in another final. A perennial mid-table team, RR finished second from the bottom in IPL 2019. For this year’s auction, they have adopted a fresh approach by releasing as many as 11 players from the squad including their former captain Ajinkya Rahane. The auction on 19th December will be an opportunity for them to build a squad for the coming years.
The Retained Bunch
Rajasthan Royals retained their core by keeping the ODI World Champion trio intact – Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. These three along with Steve Smith form the backbone of RR. These are the only four overseas retentions. Amongst the Indian contingent, Royals have held onto Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Riyan Parag along with other upcoming names.
Retained players: Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot (T), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande (T), Rahul Tewatia (T), Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron
The Released Ones
Cleaning the house, Royals released 11 players. The most important name amongst them was Jaydev Unadkat – the left-arm seamer whom they had bought for 8.4 crores in the last auction. England’s all-rounder Liam Livingstone, West Indian Oshane Thomas, Australia’s Ashton Turner and kiwi spinner Ish Sodhi are the overseas released players. The franchise has also decided the move on from Rahul Tripathi and Stuart Binny.
Released Players: Aryaman Birla, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Liam Livingstone, Oshane Thomas, Prashant Chopra, Rahul Tripathi, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny, Sudheshan Midhun.
The Trade Window
One of the most shocking trades of this season was Rajasthan Royals letting go their former captain, Ajinkya Rahane. The batsman will now represent Delhi Capitals. In turn, RR received two cricketers, the leg-spin pair of Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia. In a separate trade, Royals gave away their bowling all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham to Kings XI Punjab and chose seam bowler Ankit Rajpoot in exchange. The Jaipur-based also traded pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni to Mumbai Indians.
Remaining Purse & Auction Strategy
Rajasthan team will be in the auction for heavy bidding. They currently have only 14 players in their squad so they can buy a maximum of 11 players in the auction out of which four can be overseas. RR have 28.90 crores in the purse. Over the years, they have built their reputation as a ‘Moneyball’ side of the IPL. Their approach at the upcoming auction will be interesting as they shall primarily hunt for India’s domestic talent.