Rajasthan Royals has been a franchise that has been known to back talented players since the inception of IPL. The Men in Pink won the inaugural edition of the Indian T20 tournament, and although they have had their share of ups and downs, they are a team packed with enormous talent and since last decade, they have made it to the playoffs in 3 editions (2013, 2015, 2018).
They have a competent side who could easily make the most of the conditions offered in UAE and bring out their best versions when subject to duress.
In the 2020 auctions, they picked a total of 11 players. Robin Uthappa, Oshane Thomas, Jaydev Unadkat, and David Miller are some of the big names who were roped in during the auction, while the three traded-in players include Ankit Rajpoot, Mayank Markande, and Rahul Tewatia.
All in all, there are a few big names in the side in addition to the new names who will be looking to make an impact as the season unravels.
So, from a squad size of 25 cricketers, here are 5 key players to keep an eye upon in IPL 2020.
Without an iota of doubt, Jos Buttler is the best wicket-keeper batsman in the limited overs at present.
Since 2018, he has amassed 859 runs, averages around 48, and strikes at a rate of 153.94.
His most notable performances were in the 2018 edition, as he single-handedly took the Royals’ to the playoffs by scoring close to 550 runs, comprising a tally of 5 fifties.
With him smashing at the top-order, the fans and the franchise would be expecting cracker of performances in the much-coveted edition of IPL.
The last one year has been a period of immense success for Benjamin Andrew Stokes. At present, he is England’s match-winner in the international arena, and the form he is in, one would expect him to come up with herculean performances in IPL 2020.
The Englishman had a great run in the IPL 2017, wherein he was the only all-rounder to take 10-plus wickets and score 250-plus runs. He won three Man of the Match awards and was rated as the Most Valuable Player for the 10th edition of IPL.
If he does emulate a similar show, maybe even better, then there won’t be any stopping to Ben Stokes from taking his team to the playoffs.
His rivalries with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – two of the greatest batsmen in IPL, has made him one of the big names to watch out for.
Scraping 20 wickets at an average of 17.35, Shreyas was already among the top five highest wicket-takers in IPL 2019, and now amidst the turning tracks of UAE, he would look to maximize on the wicket-tally.
The leggie picked a hat-trick last season with the wickets being – Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Marcus Stoinis, and he would look for a similar challenge in the upcoming season.
A lot depends on how Smith performs, considering he is a core player in the Royals’ middle order and their skipper too.
Averaging over 37 in 72 IPL appearances, the Aussie cricketer has scored in excess of 2000 runs and bats at a healthy strike rate of 128.95.
Last year, he got past the 300-run mark while he averaged around 39 and struck 3 fifty plus totals.
This year, his rivalry against Mumbai Indians is something that can attract mass attention, as he has scored over 410 runs, averages 51.50, and has struck 4 fifties in those 11 matches that he has come out to bat versus the 4-time IPL champions.
With a new franchise, new team-mates and new challenges, Uthappa would look to start afresh this season with the Rajasthan Royals.
He had one of the best runs in IPL during the 2014 edition, when he racked 660 runs with 5 fifties and became the orange cap holder. To add to his successes, he followed up with 350-plus run tallies in the next three editions.
It was only until the last couple of years that things didn’t pan out the way he would have wanted, however, he still remains a valuable Indian player from an IPL perspective.
Not to mention, Uthappa being a great player of spin won’t have much problems in the slow and turning tracks of UAE, making him one of the Royals’ to look out for in IPL 2020.