One of the best bowlers in the tournament, and the eventual Most Valuable Player. The best Indian all-rounder, in terms of numbers. Arguably, the greatest all-rounder of the modern game. Two of the best batsmen in world cricket. Rajasthan Royals had Jofra Archer, Rahul Tewatia, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Steve Smith in their squad for IPL 2020 and still ended up finishing last on the points table.
After finishing 7th and 8th in two successive seasons, the task at hand for Royals is rather significant at the player auction. And they have rung in the changes.
Results in last three seasons
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2018||4th||Lost in the Eliminator|
The big story from retention day was Royals letting go of their captain Steve Smith. The Aussie superstar struggled for rhythm in UAE as he later admitted, and it was, in reality, not a surprise to see RR make the call. They doubled it down by announcing Sanju Samson will be captain, so there is no speculation about getting Smith back to lead the team from the auction pool at a different price point. Among other players released, Tom Curran was a regular in the side when Stokes was absent. And Robin Uthappa continues his IPL franchise hopping after being traded to CSK. In essence, the Royals just made one big decision to shake things up.
Players released after IPL 2020: Steve Smith, Akash Singh, Anirudha Joshi, Ankit Rajpoot, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Tom Curran, Varun Aaron
Players traded out: Robin Uthappa
RR squad for IPL 2021 ahead of auction
|Yashasvi Jaiswal||Jofra Archer||Sanju Samson||Ben Stokes|
|Mahipal Lomror||Mayank Markande||Jos Buttler||Rahul Tewatia|
|Manan Vohra||Shreyas Gopal||Anuj Rawat|
|Riyan Parag||Jaydev Unadkat|
|David Miller||Kartik Tyagi|
Royals have the second largest purse for the auction but do not have the same resources of Punjab Kings to perhaps go decisively after their main targets. There are obvious holes in the squad and some restraint would be needed as they look to fill 12 slots, three of those overseas.
Salary cap remaining: Rs 37.85 crores
Overall slots remaining: 9
Overseas slots remaining: 3
Areas to target
- Indian pacer
- Overseas pacer
- Off-spin options (Allrounder or back-up bowler)
- Batting allrounder (probably overseas)
IPL 2021: Purse & squad details before auction
|Franchise||Purse remaining (Rs crores)||Available Slots||Overseas Slots|
The auction will be telecast on Star Sports Network on 18 February from 3 pm IST.