The winners of the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals (RR), had an awful tournament in the 2019 edition.
Ahead of the auction which will take place on December 19 in Kolkata, Royals released several players who didn’t perform as per the requirements of the team, namely Ashton Turner, Oshane Thomas, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, and Rahul Tripathi.
They also traded Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Ajinkya Rahane to Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, and Delhi Capitals, respectively.
The Royals have a decent overseas set of players in the form of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Jos Buttler. But they need a few more players who can strengthen the squad.
Let’s have a look at three players that Royals might target in the upcoming auction:
Royals finished at the second last spot in 2019; hence they will look forward to hitting the auction table and buy the best players. They missed a hard-hitting opener in the previous season, which cost them a lot, and it’s the reason they have traded Rahane ahead of the auction.
Rajasthan now needs an explosive opener who can destroy opposition bowling unit, and without any doubt, Australia’s power-hitter Chris Lynn fulfills this role.
Lynn had a great run in the recently concluded T10 tournament held in Abu Dhabi. The right-handed batsman is in superb form. He dominated the 2019 T10 season by scoring 371 runs in just eight matches with an outstanding average of 236.30.
Playing for Maratha Arabians, Lynn scored four fifties with unbeaten 91 being his best.
In the last edition of IPL, Lynn had a decent tournament when he scored 405 runs in 13 matches at a strike-rate of 139.65, with 82 being his best. If Rajasthan takes Lynn, then they would find a perfect supporter to Jos Buttler.
Being the 8th highest scorer in the cash-rich league, Robin Uthappa knows what it takes to score big runs and help the respective side to go long in the tournament.
Uthappa played a vital role for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2014 when they clinched the title for the second time. Back then, he was the leading run-scorer and also won the orange cap for his 660 runs in 16 innings.
However, his last few seasons haven’t been so impressive, and that’s why he was released by KKR ahead of the auction.
Rajasthan needs a top-order batsman who can contribute either as an opener or at the 3rd number position, and they might go for the veteran Uthappa as he consists of a lot of experience, which will eventually help the domestic players in the side like Riyan Parag and Mahipal Lomror.
The best thing about Uthappa is that despite being an attacking player, he can hold one end of the team loses wickets quickly. He has shown in the past that he can do wonders.
Recently, Uthappa smashed a magnificent hundred against Delhi in the opening match of Ranji Trophy 2019-20 for Kerala. This was Uthappa’s 22nd first-class century. Since Uthappa is back in the business so there are chances that most of the franchisees will go for him, and it might include Royals too.
Ravi Srinivasan Sai Kishore
Tamil Nadu’s spinner Sai Kishore went unsold in the last season of the gigantic league. Still, due to his recent performances, there are high chances that he might get into one of the IPL squads.
Kishore was the highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT). The 23-year old took 20 wickets in just 12 games with an average of 10.40 and an economy of 4.63.
Although, Royals have a decent spinner in the form of Shreyas Gopal, who also did wonders in SMAT reaching the second spot in leading wicket-takers list.
Having the two best spinners of the current domestic circuit will undoubtedly help the Rajasthan side to take over opposition’s batters. And if RR takes Kishore then who knows they might end up winning the IPL title for the second time under another Australian skipper Steve Smith.