Rajasthan Royals gained momentum in the second half of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) and progressed to the knockout stages but failed to qualify for the final. However, their aim will be to hit the strides right from the start of IPL 2019 and will be keen to bring home their second title. Meanwhile, Royals lifted the debut IPL trophy in 2008.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led side have some quality players in their ranks who can turn the heat on any given day. But they will look to strike the balance in combination as soon as possible. Rajasthan will start their campaign against Kings XI Punjab on March 25 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
Here is the predicted XI for the Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2019:
Last year Jos Buttler started hitting the strides when he was promoted up the order. He will continue to open the innings for the Royals and will look to score some big scores for the side. Buttler is in good form and will aim to carry the momentum to the World Cup.
Rahul Tripathi can smack the ball hard at the start of the innings. The Karnataka batsman is in good knick playing some good innings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. His main aim will be to continue doing what he does the best – hitting the new ball and score quick runs at the top.
Ajinkya Rahane at one drop will be a handy customer for the Rajasthan Royals. The Mumbai cricketer can pace his innings at will and will be pivotal in rotating the strikes. Besides, he is a good skipper and can lead the side from the front.
Steven Smith will return to IPL after a gap of one year. The former Aussie skipper will look to hit the right tunes from the start and prepare himself for the World Cup to follow. Smith’s ban ends on March 28 and will reunite with Australian squad for the premier event.
Sanju Samson is a quality batsman and has proved his mettle in IPL in the previous years. The Kerala cricketer had a good domestic season and will hope to score some runs with the bat for Rajasthan Royals.
An all-rounder in the purest form, Ben Stokes will provide balance to the squad. He is a champion cricketer in every department and can win matches single-handedly on any given day. The Royals camp will hope to have an in-form Stokes right from the start of the tournament.
With his leg-breaks on, Shreyas Gopal has emerged as a match winner for the Rajasthan Royals. Gopal will look to continue doing the job he did in the last season for the Royals.
The experienced Krishnappa Gowtham can be a tricky customer with his off-breaks and can bowl in the powerplays. Besides, he is also an excellent fielder and can contribute with the bat as well in the lower-order. Gowtham will be keen to make a good start to IPL 2019 and set the tone.
The young Jofra Archer has come up the ranks in a very short period and is likely to be in England’s World Cup squad. The quality all-rounder will aim to produce some scintillating efforts for Rajasthan Royals to give momentum to his England selection.
Dhawan Kulkarni has tons of experience behind his back and can emerge as a crucial campaigner for his side. The Mumbai pacer has a variety of deliveries up his sleeves and can be key in the long run.
Jaydev Unadkat failed to satisfy the price tag in the last season of the IPL. However, he recently admitted that he has gained experience and had an excellent domestic season. It will be payback time for the left-arm fast bowler who will be keen to hit strides from the start of the IPL.
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