IPL 2018 Rajasthan Royals team: The Rajasthan Royals are back in the Indian Premier League and will start their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday. Here is a look at RR team, squad, players, schedule, list of matches and fixtures.
IPL 2018 Rajasthan Royals team: The Rajasthan Royals are back in the Indian Premier League and will start their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday. Rajasthan Royals’ journey in the Indian Premier League makes you feel for them. An underdog outfit that won the inaugural season leaving everyone in awe, continued to produce and promote young talent, was rocked with the spot-fixing scandal, banned for over two years and with just 2 weeks left for its comeback, RR found its captain Steve Smith banned for next 12 months for one of the most disgraceful acts in modern day cricket. Smith has been replaced by Heinrich Klassen, a player who may not even make it to the playing XI.
Despite this, the Rajasthan Royals look a great side and may give tough fight to other teams in IPL 2018. They have an excellent skipper in Ajinkya Rahane who has a great brain, remains calm under pressure and has scored a lot of runs for the franchise in the past. He will be assisted by the two English stars – Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes who can win matches single-handedly.
Steve Smith’s suspension can prove a blessing in disguise for RR as they will now be able to play destructive opener Darcy Short who may open with Rahane, with Rahul Tripathi batting at 3.
Solid batting order and mystery players:
Rajasthan Royals’ biggest strength this season would be their solid batting-order which is a mix of attacking and technically strong batsmen. With top 3 spots taken by Rahane, Short and Tripathi, Sanju Samson will slot in at number 4. The Kerala wicketkeeper batsman has been around for a while and has shown his talent but this could be a season where he can set the stage on fire with his batting.
Jos Buttler at 5 and Ben Stokes at 6 will play the role of finishers for Rajasthan Royals. Both these batsmen can change the game in quick time as they have done on a number of occasions for England and their respective franchises.
What makes Rajasthan Royals a more dangerous side is the presence of a few unknown, rather mystery players who can turn out to be real match-winners. Darcy Short is one of them who was the leading run-scorer in last year’s Big Bash League. In the lower order, RR will have two more players – Krishnappa Gowtham and Jofra Archer who can prove to be their trump card this season.
Gowtham, a spinning all-rounder has been around for a while in the domestic circuit but found his place with the arrival of T20 cricket. This season could be his opportunity to shine in the IPL. Archer, on the other hand, could be to RR what Andre Russel is to KKR. Archer can bowl fast, hit the ball long and is an outstanding fielder.
Inexperienced bowling unit:
As much quality as Rajasthan Royals posses in their batting order, their bowling attack remains to be a big worry. The franchise spent heavily on Jaydev Unadkat but his form in the last few months would have made RR fans and management nervous. The other two Indian fast-bowlers in the team are Dhawal Kulkarni and Anureet Singh who have been around for a long time but have failed to establish themselves as match-winners. Since Royals already have two pace options in Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, they are unlikely to play an overseas seamer.
Coming to the spin department, RR again looks slightly weak. They have Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror and Shreyas Gopal in the squad but none of them give you the kind of confidence needed to win big tournaments. However, with Shane Warne in the dugout, you cannot rule out any possibility.
Rajasthan Royals schedule and list of matches with venues:
Monday 9th April 2018
Match 4, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Rajiv Gandhi Intl. Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad- Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals
Wednesday 11th April 2018
Match 6, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils
Sunday 15th April 2018
Match 11, 16:00 IST (10:30 GMT), M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru- Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals
Wednesday 18th April 2018
Match 15, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders
Friday 20th April 2018
Match 17, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai- Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals
Sunday 22nd April 2018
Match 21, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians
Sunday 29th April 2018
Match 28, 16:00 IST (10:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Wednesday 2nd May 2018
Match 32, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi- Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals
Sunday 6th May 2018
Match 38, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali- Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals
Tuesday 8th May 2018
Match 40, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab
Friday 11th May 2018
Match 43, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings
Sunday 13th May 2018
Match 47, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai- Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals
Tuesday 15th May 2018
Match 49, 20:00 IST (14:30 GMT), Eden Gardens, Kolkata- Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals
Saturday 19th May 2018
Match 53, 16:00 IST (10:30 GMT), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur- Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Rajasthan Royals squad – Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.