It will be an interesting season for the Rajasthan Royals as they gear up to start their IPL 12 campaign with a home game against the Kings XI Punjab. They have a strong young team and have some stalwarts who can change the complexion of the match within minutes. The return of Steve Smith will surely bolster the team. However, they will be led by Ajinkya Rahane who did a good job last year.
So with their first game to start in a few more than 24 hours time let us have a look at Rajasthan Royals Probable XI.
The English swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman will be one of the key players for Rajasthan Royals all through the tournament. It was his heroics which changed the fortunes of Rajasthan Royals midway through the tournament. He smashed 5 back to back half-centuries which helped Rajasthan storm their way into the playoffs only to be eliminated by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Tripathi rose into the limelight with his impressive performance for the Rising Pune Supergiant a couple of years back. He did get off to some good starts last season but wasn’t consistent enough. However given his hitting abilities at the top of the order, I feel he should open the innings with Jos Buttler.
He is a calm and composed customer and will lead the team. Rahane can get his franchise off to solid starts. He can be the perfect foil for Jos Buttler at the top of the order. However, if Tripathi bats at the top of the order he will bat at No 3 Rahane’s form will be important to Rajasthan Royals’ fortunes in the tournament.
The young wicket-keeper batsman is one of the finest young talents in India. If he gets going, Samson is unstoppable. He has a wide array of shots and will look to come good in their opening encounter against the Kings XI Punjab. Samson is a terrific outfielder as well and can save 15-20 runs quite consistently on the field.
The former Rajasthan Royals skipper will be back in the franchise as a batsman and will be an integral part of the franchise all through the tournament. He is a terrific player irrespective of formats. Smith will definitely look to make a strong comeback just like his teammate David Warner. His leadership qualities will also come in handy for Rahane.
The English all-rounder was the biggest buy for Rajasthan Royals last year. His all-round abilities lend the perfect balance to the team. Given his exploits with the bats he should bat in the middle order and shouldn’t come too low. His power hitting abilities make him a sensational weapon to have. In addition, Stokes is a classy bowler as well and can give the captain 4 overs in most of the matches.
The all-rounder made a huge difference for Rajasthan Royals last year and he will look to continue his prowess in this edition as well. Archer is a terrific death overs bowler and can execute the Yorker to perfection. He is also a lusty striker of the ball and can clear any boundary ropes.
He was also an important member of the Rajasthan Royals outfit last year. He was given the ball in the powerplay by Ajinkya Rahane and he didn’t disappoint his captain. Coming in at the bottom of the batting order, Gowtham also played a few match winning knocks.
The leg-spinner should be in the playing XI for the first match as he is a wrist spinner and has the ability to break partnerships. Last year he bagged the wickets of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in one match. He can also contribute with the bat.
The right arm medium pacer is a good option to have for Rajasthan Royals. He can make good use of conditions and has the ability to move the ball both ways. Dhawal Kulkarni should be n the Playing XI in the opening match according to my opinion.
The left-arm pacer was the leading wicket-taker in the 2017 edition of the tournament. He is a terrific bowler in the shortest format and can use pace variations to rattle the opposition batsmen. He has some exceptional slower deliveries up his sleeve and will look to make an impact tomorrow.