Rajasthan Royals, who won the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) title, have always been a side that punches above its weight.
Mentored by former India captain Rahul Dravid, Royals’ fighting spirit is second to none.
Dravid, along with head coach Paddy Upton has made utilization of talent a key agenda and in the process they have created stars out of the blue â€“ Ajinya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson being the prime examples.
They have one of the best records of winning maximum number of home matches but now they wonâ€™t have that adavantage.
Last year, they played their home matches at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. This year along with Ahmedabad, the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai will host some of their home matches, denuding the â€œhomeâ€ advantage to a greater extent.
The Royals will be lead by Australia’s swashbuckling batsman Shane Watson who was pivotal in his country’s triumphant World Cup campaign. Watto will be supported by Ajinkya Rahane at the top-order who has been a consistent performer with the bat for Royals over the years now.
In Steven Smith and Sanju Samson they have two seasoned Twenty20 batsmen who can absorb pressure and accelerate the innings.Â
Their bowling department is comprised of James Faulkner, Tim Southee, Kane Richardson and Vikramjeet Malik. Seasoned cricketer Praveen Tambe and Steven Smith will cater to the spin-bowling for the Rajasthan Royals.
During the IPL auction this year, Rajasthan Royals spent a staggering Rs.1.40 crore on South African cricketer Christopher Morris. The team also added South African bowler Juan Theron alongside Pradeep Sahu and Sagar Trivedi to boost their squad.
With new recruits at their disposal, Royals will be eager to end their trophy drought this year.
Key Players: Shane Watson, Tim Southee, Steven Smith, Ajinkya Rahane
Squad: Shane Watson(c), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson(wk), Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu