Inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) purchased 21 players at the two-day mega auction in Bengaluru. They bought young pacer Prasidh Krishna for Rs 10 crore, hard-hitting West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer for Rs 8.5 crore, young but talented opener Devdutt Padikkal for Rs 7.75 crore, and Kiwi left-arm seamer Trent Boult for Rs 8 crore. Ahead of the auction, RR had retained three players – Sanju Samson (Rs 14 crore), Jos Buttler (Rs 10 crore), and Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rs 4 crore). Here’s Rajasthan’s squad analysis after the auction.
RR did reasonably well to pick up a few genuine match-winners at the auction. New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult can be considered their standout purchase. Boult formed a deadly combination with Jasprit Bumrah at Mumbai Indians (MI) for a couple of years. He has the ability to bowl superb yorkers and, on his day, can be near unplayable at the death. Boult is also a highly experienced campaigner who can be expected to deliver under pressure.
Rajasthan should consider themselves extremely lucky that they managed to pick up experienced leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for Rs 6.5 crore. The versatile bowler has been a highly consistent performer for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) over the past many years. A genuine game-turner, Chahal has numerous tricks up his sleeve to unsettle the batters. He has the experience as well as the expertise, so expect him to be a regular feature in the playing XI for RR.
RR also decided to spend Rs 10 crore for Prasidh Krishna. The fast bowler had a poor season for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) last season. However, having learned his lessons the harsh way, he has been a much-improved bowler. Krishna bowled brilliantly for India in the ODI series against West Indies and, in fact, ended up as the Player of the Series. Opener Devdutt Padikkal is also someone RR will have high hopes from, considering he has impressed in his short IPL career.
RR also picked up Ravichandran Ashwin for Rs 5 crore. While there is no doubting his ability, the off-spinner is not the same white-ball bowler he was a decade ago. He can still contribute to his new franchise, but Royals could perhaps have spent the money on someone more dangerous in the T20 format. Navdeep Saini (Rs 2.6 crore), too, hasn’t been as consistent as he was expected to be after having made his international debut. So RR might face some issues in the bowling when the competition tightens up.
Big-hitting West Indian Shimron Hetmyer is the clear winner of the X factor contest in the RR squad. The attacking left-hander has been on the cricketing scene for a few seasons now. Fans across the globe would be well aware of his ability to strike the ball hard. Last season, Hetmyer played a couple of blazing cameos for Delhi Capitals, and he followed it up with an excellent knock during the T20 World Cup as well. He is the future of West Indies cricket, and, on his day, there are few more destructive batters in business. His consistency has been a bit of an issue. And Hetmyer himself will be keen to set the record intact in the upcoming IPL edition.
Verdict? Not bad at all
In Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Boult, Hetmyer, Padikkal, Krishna, and Chahal, RR have a good mix of experience and youth. What’s more, all of them are capable of winning games on their own when it is their day.
Rajasthan Royals squad for IPL 2022: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell