Aakash Chopra Predicts Rajasthan Royals Won't Qualify In IPL 2021
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Aakash Chopra Predicts Rajasthan Royals Won’t Qualify In IPL 2021

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals

Aakash Chopra said he won’t be surprised if Rajasthan Royals fail to make the playoffs. Former Indian batsman turned commentator Aakash Chopra remarked that for Sanju Samson’s Rajasthan Royals to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs, a lot of things will need to go in their favor.

The RR unit, which has been bolstered by the arrival of Chris Morris, the most expensive player in the history of the IPL, finished last in IPL 2020 in the UAE. They last made the playoffs in 2018, eventually finishing fourth.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Rajasthan Royals Will Qualify For The Playoffs Only If A Lot Of Things Go In Their Favour And If They Don’t It Won’t Spring Surprise

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, cricketer-turned-commentator opined should inaugural champions RR fail to make the playoffs in IPL 2021, it won’t come as a surprise.

“It seems to be a mid-table team. They will qualify for the playoffs if a lot of things go in their favor. If they don’t qualify, it should neither be a surprise for you nor will I be surprised because there are gaps that need plugging,” said Aakash Chopra.

Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson
Rajasthan Royals batsmen Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Not a single Rajasthan batsman performed consistently through the IPL 2020 season. Sanju Samson started strong but he failed to sustain his form. Ben Stokes missed nearly half the season but showed what he’s capable of with a superb century against Mumbai Indians as an opener. However, consistency eluded him.

A lot was expected of Jos Buttler but he too had an underwhelming season, both at the top of the order and in the middle. Rahul Tewatia was undoubtedly impressive lower down the order and punched well above his weight, as he finished IPL 2020 as the only Indian player with 10+ wickets and 250+ runs.

Aakash Chopra Predicts Jos Buttler Will Be RR’s Leading Run Scorer And Sanju Samson Will Hit Most Sixes

Along with making predictions about their result, Aakash Chopra also spoke about their key players who are likely to top the charts for the Rajasthan outfit. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, he believes, will finish the tournament as the side’s highest run-getter, while big-hitting skipper Sanju Samson will hit the maximum number of sixes.

“Jos Buttler will be the highest run-getter for the Rajasthan Royals this season. He will hopefully play as an opener and will continuously open. Sanju Samson will hit the most number of sixes. He has the six-hitting ability. The first five matches are in Mumbai and then four in Delhi, the first nine matches are on small grounds. In such a scenario, Sanju Samson will put the bowlers on ransom,” added Aakash Chopra.

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action
Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler in action | Sportzpics for BCCI / Pankaj Nangia

He also made a bold prediction saying England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be expensive in the annual tournament.

“Ben Stokes could be their most expensive bowler. There are huge chances of that. One thing is he bowls very less and whenever he bowls I have seen him getting hit a lot,” concluded Chopra.

Chris Morris, the most expensive player in IPL history, is another vital player for RR. With England pacer Jofra Archer’s availability for IPL 2021 still uncertain, Chris Morris could have to bowl at the death. RR will play their first IPL 2021 game against the Punjab Kings in Mumbai on April 12.

Rajasthan Royals finished last season at the bottom of the table with 12 points from their 14 matches. At the auction, Rajasthan Royals went big, spending Rs 24.20 crore on buying players.

RR spent Rs 4.4 crore on Shivam Dube while Chetan Sakariya (Rs 1.2 crore), Mustafizur Rahman (Rs 1 crore), Liam Livingstone (Rs 75 lakh), KC Cariappa (Rs 20 lakh), Kuldip Yadav (Rs 20 lakh), Akash Singh (Rs20 lakh) will also feature for the team this season apart from Chris Morris (Rs. 16.25 Crore)

Probable Rajasthan Royals XI: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman/Jofra Archer/ Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat