Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 September 2020

IPL

IPL 2020: Complete profile of Rajasthan 'Moneyball' Royals for the season

Uncertainty over availability of Ben Stokes the main concern

Rajasthan Royals

Based: Dubai

Last season: Seventh

Best finish: Champions in 2008

Coach: Andrew McDonald

Captain: Steve Smith. Smith must feel like he has a fair amount to thank Rajasthan for. They were the first side to show faith in him as a captain again after his suspension for Sandpapergate. Maybe not quite as dominant a T20 force as he is in the other formats, but he has been working on rectifying that.

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Standings at the end of the league phase.

Key man: Jos Buttler

England’s greatest ever white-ball cricketer, according to Stuart Broad, Michael Vaughan, and a number of others. And possibly the outstanding T20 batsman in the world at present, too. Rajasthan Royals were the first team to run with the idea of him opening the innings. Turns out it was not the worst idea anyone has ever had.

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Big miss: Potentially Ben Stokes

It is unknown whether Stokes will be available for the IPL. He skipped the last part of England’s lockdown summer to travel to New Zealand to be with his family, after his father had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

If he does make it to the UAE, clearly that will improve the Royals immeasurably. Without him, they still have fine back up batting in the form of big-hitting IPL regular David Miller, but it would deprive them an extra bowling option.

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Verdict

Often termed the IPL’s “Moneyball” franchise, the Royals are proud of the fact they spend less money per point than any other side.

One look at the star quality in their line up suggests they are not exactly skinflints, though, with England’s star trio of Buttler, Stokes and Jofra Archer in their engine room, with Smith helming the ship.

They have also been arguably the most proactive team with regards to Covid-19 safety, too. Before travelling to the UAE, they underwent extra testing, over and above the IPL’s standard protocol.

It included testing for antibodies, the results of which had a bearing on who was assigned which room during quarantine. Those who had them became designated “blockers”.

Fixtures

1. Match 4, Tuesday, September 22, 6pm, Sharjah - Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings

2. Match 9, Sunday, September 27, 6pm, Sharjah – Rajasthan Royals v Kings XI Punjab

3. Match 12, Wednesday, September 30, 6pm, Dubai – Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders

4. Match 15, Saturday, October 3, 2pm, Abu Dhabi – Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals

5. Match 20, Tuesday, October 6, 6pm, Abu Dhabi – Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals

6. Match 23, Friday, October 9, 6pm, Sharjah – Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Capitals

7. Match 26, Sunday, October 11, 2pm, Dubai – Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals

8. Match 30, Wednesday, October 14, 6pm, Dubai – Delhi Capitals v Rajasthan Royals

9. Match 33, Saturday, October 17, 2pm, Dubai – Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore

10. Match 37, Monday, October 19, 6pm, Abu Dhabi – Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals

11. Match 40, Thursday, October 22, 6pm, Dubai – Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad

12. Match 45, Sunday, October 25, 6pm, Abu Dhabi – Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians

13. Match 50, Friday, October 30, 6pm, Abu Dhabi – Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals

14. Match 54, Sunday, November 1, 6pm, Dubai – Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals

Updated: September 15, 2020 10:47 AM

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