The Rajasthan Royals (RR) had come into the IPL 2020 with many hopes after finishing 7th in IPL 2019. The RR had done well in IPL 2018, making it into the playoffs and finishing 4th on the points table.
In the auction of the IPL 2020, RR went in with some plans, and even before that, they had traded former captain Ajinkya Rahane to Delhi Capitals in lieu of three players. In the auction, RR bought Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, and Tom Curran among others.
On paper, when combined with the likes of Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and others, the squad looked good enough with a slight issue of experience batsmen in the middle order. It was expected that David Miller will be the finisher for RR.
Fans waited to see how Jaydev Unadkat would repay the faith shown by the franchise owners who again bought him for INR 3 Cr, spending a total of INR 23 Crs on him across the last three seasons.
RR started off well with wins over Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in their first two matches, but then they lost 4 in a row. After that, they lost and won matches regularly, though keeping themselves in contention for the playoffs. Unfortunately, in their last league game against KKR, which was a do or die match for them, RR couldn’t perform up to requirements and was eliminated from the playoffs and the tournament.
A lot of the blame went for their harebrained selection policy and the constant backing of non-performers. Add to that an inexperienced middle-order with no established finisher and you had a recipe for disaster. They, however, found a dependable player in Rahul Tewatia, who starred with both the bat and the ball throughout the tournament, and his five sixes in an over to Sheldon Cottrell will be enshrined forever in IPL highlight reels.
Some of their ideas worked like sticking with Ben Stokes as an opener and Jos Buttler as the finisher, while some like bowling Jaydev Unadkat in death overs against a rampaging AB de Villiers didn’t. Overall it was a sad performance from a team that showed much promise and there are things they would need to rectify in the upcoming IPL 2021 auction.
Check out the 5 biggest disappointments for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 13