Rajasthan Royals (RR) finished with the wooden spoon last season as they failed to capitalize on a good start to their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season. Despite the fact that they stayed alive throughout the course of the league stages, till the very last match, the final standings saw them finish last of all teams.
Now, with an eye on the upcoming edition, RR have sought to make a lot of changes to their side at the auction. They’ve released their captain Steve Smith and elevated Sanju Samson to that role. They have also appointed Kumar Sangakkara as their director of cricketing operations. This year might finally be the year they get their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2008.
For doing so, some signings at the upcoming IPL auction on the 18th of February could help. We take a look at 5 players RR can sign.
Jimmy Neesham is one of the most consistent all-rounders in the world at the moment. The New Zealand is both a very good finisher as well as a handy bowler for a 5th option. He has now been released into the auction pool by his previous franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) who didn’t utilize him well enough. RR might be the side where he showcases his mettle and flourishes next season.
Riley Meredith has been making waves in the Australian domestic circuit with his stupendous bowling displays. Turning up for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, the fast bowler has been so impressive that he has received a call-up to the national team for the upcoming series against New Zealand. He could be the one to solve RR’s death-bowling woes by complementing the ever-reliable Jofra Archer.
Yet another excellent performer at the Big Bash League and from the same team, Hobart Hurricanes, Ben McDermott is bound to attract quite a few bids at the auction. The big-hitting Australian has the element of prolonged consistency that sets him apart and he could be the perfect option to replace the outgoing Steve Smith and add much-needed overseas firepower to the RR batting line-up.
Shakib Al Hasan
One of the greatest all-rounders of the modern game, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan is yet another player who will attract a lot of attention at the upcoming auction. The southpaw’s all-round exploits might come in handy for RR if they choose to sign him as he can both bat in the middle-order and give it stability while offering a second spinning option to add to the strength of the bowling unit.
RR’s problem has for a long time been death bowling. With the exception of Jofra Archer, the rest of the pacers have tended to go for a lot of runs. This is why the franchise will definitely be after a fast-bowler who can both pick up wickets and contain runs at the death. There won’t be many better options for the same than Australia’s Jhye Richardson who has proved both for the Australian national team and the Perth Scorchers in the BBL that he can be counted on.