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Of the eight teams taking part in the 2021 Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals are amongst the outsiders. They are seventh favourites at odds of 10.0 amongst bookmakers giving India cricket betting tips. These odds do not speak highly of their hopes of competing in the final or reaching the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals finished bottom of the standings in IPL 2020, although on net run-rate. They won six out of their 14 matches and were only two points of a place in the post-season due to the tight nature of the table.
The Royals boasted the MVP of IPL 2020 as Jofra Archer claimed the prize for an outstanding campaign, taking 20 wickets and scoring 113 runs. The England seamer’s performances were not good enough to lift the rest of the team, resulting in another disappointing campaign for the franchise.
The Rajasthan Royals team missed out on the post-season for the second year in a row. Their failure has prompted changes. Skipper Steve Smith was released after two underwhelming years in charge. Other players, including England’s Tom Curran, were deemed surplus to requirements.
The Royals has answered their critics to return to relevance. Chris Morris has been signed in a statement of intent in the 2021 IPL auction. The South African became the most expensive player in IPL history when he penned a deal worth 16.25 crore. Liam Livingstone, Shivam Dube and Mustafizur Rahman have also been added to the ranks.
Sanju Samson takes over the responsibility of captaincy from Smith. He along with Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Archer, could drive the Royals into contention this season. The IPL betting odds do not suggest a run could be forthcoming, but there could be value in backing Samson’s men this year.
Rajasthan Royals have long been known as the IPL team that follow the ‘Moneyball’ philosophy, picking up relatively unknown players for bargain prices, in the hope of turning them into stars. However, they blew that theory out of the water by signing Morris to the most expensive contract in the IPL 2021 auction. The South African arrives with a great pedigree, taking 80 wickets over the course of his IPL career at an average of 23.98.
Morris is also handy with the bat in the lower order, with a top score of 82. He will be under pressure to perform in an expanded role, although he does have experience with the Royals, having played in the team in 2015. Morris has also played for Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and in IPL 2020 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The South African’s arrival will ease the pressure on Jofra Archer with the ball. At times in IPL 2020, Archer was carrying the fortunes of the team with ball in hand on his own. He won the MVP award due to his brilliance and will be hungry once more to prove his worth.
Samson takes over leadership duties from Smith after a good season with the bat in IPL 2020. He led Rajasthan Royals statistics in runs scored with 375 to his name and a top score of 85. Samson has to maintain that standard moving forward into the new term.
Buttler and Stokes were solid, although missed a large chunk of the competition due to personal reasons. When Stokes played he contributed with the bat, averaging 40.71 and scoring an unbeaten hundred in a win over Mumbai Indians. At the peak of his powers, the England all-rounder can be the best player in the competition.
The Royals need a greater impact from their spinners. Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia combined for 20 wickets, but those were costly scalps. The two players must raise the standard of their game to support the seamers. It could be the factor that holds Rajasthan Royals back in IPL 2021. Livingstone’s addition could help in that regard as he bolsters those ranks with his off-spin, although the England man is more in the squad for his batting.
Samson has an interesting roster to work with for IPL 2021. When firing on all cylinders, Rajasthan Royals will provide blockbuster entertainment, but whether it’s a winning formula remains to be seen.
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The Rajasthan Royals player that most will be expected of in IPL 2021 is undoubtedly the England all-rounder Ben Stokes. In 2019, Stokes cemented his position as one of the world’s best cricketers with his performances for England and was awarded the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award.
He was instrumental in England winning the Cricket World Cup in the summer, scoring an unbeaten 84 in the final against New Zealand, which included two sixes in the final over to tie the game, which England went on to win on the boundary count back rule.
He then showed his brilliance in an Ashes match against Australia, as he inspired England to victory in the third test at Headingley. His unbeaten 135 saw England successfully reach a record target of 359 that had been set by the Aussies and has been described as one of the greatest innings of all time.
Stokes’ performances over the past couple of years for Rajasthan Royals have been solid rather than spectacular. His innings of 107 against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020 showed that he can bring his England heroics into the competition. After missing the opening six matches of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons, Stokes rounded into form and delivered with the bat. With a whole campaign ahead of him, the all-rounder could produce an MVP run.
Archer was the main man last season with his MVP win. He carried the team on his back with the ball, demonstrating his outstanding skill and frightening pace. The England quick will be asked to lead from the front once more, although the signing of Morris should ease some of the burden from his shoulders.
Not that Rajasthan Royals are without other bowling talents. Shreyas Gopal was named in the Cricinfo IPL XI for the 2019 season, after a season in which the right-arm leg break took 20 wickets. This included a hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore in which he took the wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis. He took a step back in IPL 2020 with only 10 wickets, but should he return to his 2019 form, there could be hope for the Royals.
Yet it is with the bat that there seems to be most potential within the team and is an area in which improvement is needed, based on last season’s performances. If Buttler, Samson, Livingstone, Dube and Stokes can operate at a high level, runs should flow for the team.
It will also be fascinating to see if youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal will get much of an opportunity to show what he can do at this level, after barely receiving an opportunity in IPL 2020. He looks to have the raw talent to do great things in the sport. Jaiswal could be the sort of unexpected game-changer that could push Rajasthan Royals towards a top four finish and a playoff place. Keep your eye on his progress.
One of the initial eight franchises that were founder members of the IPL in 2008, Rajasthan Royals have had a rich history, with every great success matched with a contrasting failure or controversy.
Their most successful IPL season was their first one. As is the case with betting during the IPL 2021 season, Rajasthan Royals were not considered title contenders, but they nevertheless won the 2008 IPL under the captaincy of the legendary Australian spin bowler Shane Warne.
It was Warne’s Australian teammate Shane Watson that was pivotal to the team’s triumph. Scoring 472 runs and taking 17 wickets, the all-rounder was named Man of the Tournament, as Rajasthan Royals won the league and then defeated Chennai Super Kings in the final.
This remains the only time that Rajasthan Royals have won the IPL. They have made the playoffs three times since, finishing third in 2013 and fourth in both 2015 and 2018, but have failed to make it through to the final. The closest they’ve came was in 2013, when they made it through to the second qualifier, only to lose by four wickets to the eventual winners Mumbai Indians. Once again Watson was named as the Man of the Tournament in that year.
Last season’s finish of eighth was their worst effort, even if they were only 2 points behind a playoff spot. Rajasthan Royals also finished seventh in 2010, 2012 and 2019, but the 2019 win rate of 38.46% was the lowest in the team’s history and highlights the work that needs to be done going forward.
If that was the lowest moment in terms of performance, it was far from being the low point overall. Rajasthan have been involved in two major IPL controversies. In 2010, the BCCI decided to expel the Royals and Kings XI Punjab from the IPL, on charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms.
An appeal and arbitration process saw Rajasthan Royals keep their place, but it wasn’t long before another major issue arose. In 2015 the Lodha Committee banned the team from competing in the IPL for two years for the betting activities of key officials, which included the Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, who was banned for life.
The ban highlights the challenge faced by RR when they returned in 2018, after two years in the wilderness. They have been erratic in the years since returning, with fourth and seventh and eighth placed finishes. They will be hoping to show more consistency going forward and avoid more destabilising controversies.
The highest total ever recorded by Rajasthan Royals was the 226/6 scored against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020. Samson scored 85 in a four-wicket win for the Royals.
Rajasthan Royals won the 2008 Indian Premier League. Shane Watson was named as Player of the Series in both 2008 and 2013. Jofra Archer was named IPL MVP in 2020.
Based in Jaipur, Rajasthan, the team play at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. It has a capacity of 30,000.
Until the 2018 IPL season, Rajasthan Royals wore a blue kit. In 2019, they initially switched to pink to raise awareness for breast cancer. Such was the popularity of the kit with the fans, that they stuck with it to celebrate Jaipur’s reputation as India’s ‘pink city’. Every building in Jaipur’s centre is a terracotta pink colour.
The team’s mascot is a lion called Moochu Singh.
The Rajasthan Royals betting odds are not favourable to win IPL 2021, being backed at 10.0 to triumph for the second time. Their performances in IPL 2020 were not good enough, although they were only two points off the post-season in the end. There’s not a huge improvement required for Samson’s men to qualify for the playoff. They need greater consistency with the bat, while the Royals must support Archer better with the ball.
Stokes should be available for the entire campaign, which will present RR with the best all-rounder in the competition. If he can fire with both bat and ball, it could make all the difference in notching two to three more victories that would propel the franchise into the post-season. There’s scope for improvement from Buttler, Samson, Tewatia and Gopal.
New signings Morris, Livingstone and Rahman should make an impact. Given their price of 10.0 to win the competition, it could be worth backing RR as a value selection in the IPL betting odds. RR have the talent at least to make a push for the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals returned to the IPL in 2018 after a two-year suspension.
India wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson will captain the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 following Steve Smith’s exit.
The team is jointly owned between four shareholders. Amisha Hathiramani owns 44.2%. Manoj Badale has 32.4%, Lachlan Murdoch has 11.7% and Shane Warne has 3%.
Although there are arguments to make for Sanju Samson or Ben Stokes being the best batsman in the Rajasthan Royals squad, statistically it would be Jos Buttler. The England player has the highest average of any Rajasthan Royals batsman in the team’s history.
Jos Buttler is likely to be the starting wicketkeeper for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021.