Four players Rajasthan Royals should sign in the IPL auction

In the last IPL auction, Rajasthan Royals splashed their money and bought almost every single player they wanted to buy. After the 2018 IPL season, they have decided to offload some players and go in the 2019 IPL auction in a bid to address their needs. Let us take a look at four players who Rajasthan Royals could sign in the upcoming IPL auction.

Retained players

Ajinkya Rahane, Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, Sudhesan Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Jos, Buttler, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi

Released players

D’Arcy Short, Heinrich Klaasen, Ben Laughlin, Dane Peterson, Zahir Khan, Dushmantha Chameera, Jaydev Unadkat, Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma, and Jatin Saxena.

Available slots

9; Indian 6, Overseas 3

Manoj Tiwary

One area in which the Rajasthan Royals suffered last season is the middle-order as they didn’t have batsmen to stand up when the team needed them the most. Jos Buttler, their hero in the 2018 season, was struggling to find form when he was batting in the middle-order and when he was promoted to open the batting for his side, their fortunes changed as he single-handedly took them to the playoffs.

This left them with Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes and Rahul Tripathi, who is an opening batsman, to bat in the middle-order. This auction, they will look to address the issue and sign a good middle-order batsman to do the job for them in the IPL.

Talking about good Indian middle-order batsmen, there is no one better than Manoj Tiwary in the auction. Tiwary has been a consistent performer in the Indian domestic circuit for a while but has been constantly ignored by the selectors and the franchises time and time again. The right-hander has the experience of spearheading a team’s middle-order and the Royals should ensure that they sign the right-hander to sort out their team’s middle-order woes.

Jaydev Unadkat

In the 2018 IPL auction, Rajasthan Royals spent heavily as they signed Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and D’Arcy Short for a lot of money on day 1 of the auction and on day 2, they surprised everyone by buying fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat for 11.5 crores INR right in front of Kings XI Punjab, who outbid Chennai Super Kings after a fierce bidding battle.

Unadkat felt the pressure of his heavy price tag as he was nothing but a failure for Rajasthan in the 2018 IPL as he managed to take just 11 wickets in the 15 games he played at an average of 44.18 and an economy of 8.39.

Following his dismal performances, the franchise released him ahead of the 2019 IPL auction and the Saurashtra pacer is set to enter the auction pool. He will be one of the of the hot picks in the auction as most of the franchises need an Indian pacer and some of them need backup local pacers in case their main pacer is rested keeping the World Cup in mind.

However, given the bowling attack of the Royals, the chances of the seamer going back to the Jaipur-based franchise cannot be ruled out as Royals could have released him to free up some money in the auction purse and get him back for a cheaper price, which could also release some pressure off him.

Axar Patel

Last season, Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal did a decent job as the team’s spinners as they consistently choked the opposition batsmen throughout the tournament. However, neither of them have experience of playing for India and it is very clear that the team needs someone who can lead the bowling attack.

Royals might be looking for an experienced campaigner to lead their spin attack and there is no one better than Axar Patel who can get the job done for them than Axar Patel. Axar, who has played a lot of matches for India in ODIs and T20Is, will have to find a new home as he was let go by his franchise Kings XI Punjab. Axar can be very useful for Royals as he provides them with some batting depth apart from being their go-to bowler.

Brendon McCullum

Last season, Jos Buttler took a lot of responsibility with the bat and took them single-handedly to the playoffs. All this happened only after he was promoted to open the batting. In all likelihood, he will be asked to open the batting for the Royals again. However, there are chances that both he and Ben Stokes might leave the tournament early because of international commitments.

In that case, having a backup opening option could come in handy for the franchise. Brendon McCullum was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after the 2018 IPL and will be looking to find a new home for the upcoming season. McCullum won’t be leaving the tournament midway as he has already stopped playing international cricket. So, he will be available for the whole tournament and Royals should pounce on him in the IPL auction. He is an explosive batsman who can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of few balls and Royals need someone who can get their team to a flying start in the IPL.

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