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Assessing the Rajasthan Royals 2021 IPL Squad

| March 10, 2021 7:12 am PDT
Rajasthan Royals IPL Squad for 2021

After finishing rock bottom of the 2020 Indian Premier League standings, it was clear that the Rajasthan Royals squad for the 2021 IPL season needed reshaping.

Of course, questions were asked when overseas stars like Steve Smith and Tom Curran were released during the offseason. But having enjoyed success at the IPL auction, RR’s 2021 roster looks seriously competitive.

South African all-rounder Chris Morris become the most expensive buy in IPL history, with the Royals paying a mammoth 16.25 crores to acquire his services, while Liam Livingstone and Mustafizur Rahman are also among the eight new arrivals.

But can the new-look 2021 Rajasthan Royals squad help the franchise to improve on last year’s shortcomings? I assess RR’s 2021 roster, detailing the team’s overseas players, best playing XI, and much more.

Analyzing the Rajasthan Royals Squad in 2021

Let’s start by taking an in-depth look at the 2021 Rajasthan Royals squad. As shown, all the new buys are highlighted in bold below.

Batsmen

  • Anuj Rawat (wk)
  • David Miller
  • Jos Buttler (wk)
  • Liam LivingstoneManan Vohra
  • Sanju Samson (c & wk)
  • Yashavi Jaiswal

Replacing Steve Smith at the top of the order was never going to be easy for Rajasthan. However, the arrival of big-hitting Englishman Liam Livingstone has definitely bolstered the batting options in RR’s squad for the 2021 IPL season.

Sanju Samson – who has replaced Smith as captain – was the Royals’ top scorer last season, while Jos Buttler also chipped in with a few big scores. But considering that Samson finished sixteenth on the overall run-scorer leaderboard last year, Rajasthan’s batting line-up still feels slightly depleted.

It’s safe to say that the Royals will need their all-rounders to contribute a large portion of the team’s runs in 2021.

All-Rounders

  • Ben Stokes
  • Chris Morris
  • Mahipal Lomrar
  • Rahul Tewatia
  • Riyan Parag
  • Shivam Dube

Chris Morris may have only played nine matches for RCB last season, but following his release from the Bangalore franchise, RR wasted no time in purchasing the South African all-rounder for a record 16.25 crores at the 2021 IPL auction.

Predominantly a bowler, Morris has also proved that he can win games with the bat too. Having signed for an astronomical fee, he will need to perform well in both departments.

CHRIS MORRIS’ BOWLING RECORD IN THE IPL
Matches Wickets Best Figures Average Economy
70 80 4/23 23.98 7.81

Ben Stokes remains one of the deadliest all-rounders on the planet, so it is hardly surprising that he finds himself back in the Rajasthan Royals squad for 2021. Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag have also been retained from last season.

I’m excited to see what Shivam Dube brings to the Royals’ roster. The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the most exciting all-rounders in the Indian domestic circuit, making him a solid addition to RR’s 2021 squad.

Bowlers

  • Akash Singh
  • Andrew Tye
  • Chetan Sakariya
  • Jaydev Unadkat
  • Jofra Archer
  • Kartik Tyagi
  • KC Cariappa
  • Kuldip Yadav
  • Mayank Markhande
  • Mustafizur Rahman
  • Shreyas Gopal

As you can see, Rajasthan won’t be short of bowling options for the 2021 IPL season. In fact, it could be argued that the Royals boast the deepest bowling roster in the competition.

Jofra Archer – the 2020 IPL MVP – needs no introduction, while Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, and Jaydev Unadkat have all been retained for another season with RR. But there are also a number of eye-catching new acquisitions.

Young guns Akash Singh (18) and Chetan Sakariya (20) were picked up during the auction, along with Mustafizur Rahman. The 25-year-old has previously featured for SH and MI in the Indian Premier League, but he now has a chance to become an important player for the Royals.

All in all, RR’s bowling attack has the potential to be one of the most lethal of its kind this year.

Rajasthan Royals Overseas Players for 2021

In this section, I analyze RR’s overseas players for the 2021 IPL season. There are a number of notable newcomers this year, coupled with a solid core of retained imported stars.

David Miller

Following seven years at KXIB, Miller was bought by the Royals ahead of the 2020 IPL season. However, the South African only ended up playing one game for his new side last year.

Many Indian Premier League fans will remember Miller’s 38-ball hundred against RCB back in 2013; he finished the campaign with an average of 59.71 that year. If he can rediscover that kind of form, Miller could be a key overseas player for Rajasthan in 2021.

Jos Buttler

Buttler has been an important performer for RR since 2018. The England international finished as the franchise’s top run-scorer in his debut season and has racked up over 600 runs across the previous two campaigns.

Only Samson scored more runs than Buttler for the Royals last year, with a memorable 70* coming against MI. Many believe that the 30-year-old has the ability to challenge for the Orange Cap, but he will have to be at the top of his game throughout the entire season to remain in contention.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS TOP RUN-SCORERS (2020 IPL SEASON)
Player Innings Runs High Score Average Strike Rate
Sanju Samson 14 375 85 28.84 158.89
Jos Buttler 12 328 70* 32.80 144.49
Steve Smith 14 311 69 25.91 131.22
Ben Stokes 8 285 107* 40.71 142.50
Rahul Tewatia 11 255 53 42.50 139.34

Liam Livingstone

Liam Livingstone Rajasthan Royals

I really like the addition of Livingstone to the Rajasthan Royals squad for 2021. The powerful batsman played one IPL season for the franchise in 2019, although he only featured in four matches. However, I can see him playing a bigger role for the team this time around.

The Englishman smashed 426 runs in 14 games as the Perth Scorchers made it all the way to the BBL 10 final earlier in the year. If Livingstone can pick up where he left off in Australia, he will almost certainly shine for RR this year.

Ben Stokes

What can I say about Ben Stokes that hasn’t already been said?

Every year, the 29-year-old continues to cement his status as one of the world’s best cricketers – and it feels like he still has the potential to get even better!

The 2017 IPL MVP has consistently contributed runs and wickets since becoming a Rajasthan Royals overseas player three seasons ago. After smashing an outstanding unbeaten 107 last year, Stokes will unquestionably be a star player for RR in 2021.

Let’s take a look at some of Stokes’ finest achievements.

  • 2017: Highest-paid overseas player in IPL history
  • 2017: Indian Premier League Most Valuable Player
  • 2019: Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World
  • 2019: Man of the Final in the Cricket World Cup

Chris Morris

Eyebrows were raised when the Royals dropped a colossal 16.25 crores on Morris in the 2021 IPL auction. Having been released by RCB during the offseason, the all-rounder was always going to be one of the most sought-after players this year. But his price tag will be hard to live up to.

The Proteas veteran has become somewhat of an IPL nomad, playing for four different franchises over the years. Needless to say, RR will be hoping that Morris’ eighth season in the Indian Premier League will be his best.

Andrew Tye

Andrew Tye Rajasthan Royals

Andrew Tye won the Purple Cap while representing KXIP back in 2018 before switching to Rajasthan in 2020. But in his only match for the Royals last season, the Aussie bowler finished with disappointing figures of 1/50.

Alongside Livingstone, Tye shone for the Scorchers in the recent Big Bash League. If he can carry his BBL form onto the IPL stage, he will be one of the top overseas players for RR in 2021

Jofra Archer

The Royals may have finished rock bottom of the table last year, yet Archer still managed to scoop the 2020 MVP award. The gifted England international claimed 20 wickets in 14 matches last term – and he also chipped in with 113 runs for his team.

It could be argued that Archer has transformed himself into a bowling all-rounder recently, although there is no denying that his wickets are the most important thing about his game. I can’t wait to see the lethal paceman open his 2021 IPL account.

MOST DOT BALLS BOWLED (2020 IPL SEASON)
Player Team Overs Dot Balls
Jofra Archer Rajasthan Royals 55.4 175
Jasprit Bumrah Mumbai Indians 60 175
Rashid Khan Sunrisers Hyderabad 64 168

Mustafizur Rahman

Rajasthan made a number of solid purchases during the auction, but Rahman could prove to be one of the franchise’s best overseas buys this year.

At 25, the Bangladeshi bowler is by no means the most experienced player. But having played a pivotal role for his country in recent years, he joins RR with bags of know-how, especially when it comes to the shorter formats of the game.

Who Is RR’s Star Player for the 2021 IPL Season?

Okay – we all know that Archer clinched the MVP award last year. The Barbadian-born England international put in a series of dynamic performances with both bat and ball during the previous campaign, sealing his standing among the best T20 players under the sun.

Samson also moved up to second in the franchise’s all-time run-scorer charts last year – so we can’t underestimate the new RR captain’s impact on the team.

Still, when it comes to choosing the best player for the Rajasthan Royals in 2021, it is very difficult to look past Ben Stokes.

Stokes’ ability to singlehandedly win games makes him an invaluable player for RR. Team-mates like Buttler, Morris, and Livingstone all have the ability to change matches, but not in the same way that Stokes does.

With 42 IPL games in the tank, the 29-year-old is already closing in on 1000 runs in the competition. He has hit two centuries and two half-centuries in that time, as well as 32 maximums.

On top of that, Stokes’ bowling capabilities mean that he can also make a serious impact with the ball. The Englishman has 28 IPL wickets to his name, with best figures of 3/15.

By his own high standards, Stokes hasn’t enjoyed too much success in the Indian Premier League over the past two seasons. But let’s face it – he could easily be the Royals’ best player in 2021.

Rajasthan Royals Predicted Playing XI in 2021

Rajasthan’s new-look roster means that a host of big-name players look set to miss out on a regular spot in the franchise’s best XI this year.

Despite boasting undoubted quality, new overseas arrivals such as Livingstone and Rahman may find it difficult to break into the Royals’ playing eleven for 2021. On the flip side, I can see Dube claiming a spot on RR’s side.

Here is Rajasthan’s predicted XI for the 2021 IPL season.

  • Jos Buttler
  • Yashasvi Jaiswal
  • Sanju Samson (c & wk)
  • Ben Stokes
  • Riyan Parag
  • Shivam Dube
  • Rahul Tewatia
  • Chris Morris
  • Jofra Archer
  • Shreyas Gopal
  • Kartik Tyagi

Buttler has previously featured at number four for the Royals, but I believe he is better off opening. Stokes, Dube, Tewatia, and Morris could form a formidable middle order, with Archer coming in at number nine.

The bowling line-up is by no means certain, but Gopal and Tyagi are likely to be preferred to the likes of Tye and Rahman. Still, they are very solid back-up options to have, aren’t they!?

Closing Thoughts on the 2021 Rajasthan Royals Squad

You could be forgiven for thinking that losing Steve Smith would make any team weaker. But following a hugely successful offseason, I think Rajasthan’s roster for the 2021 IPL campaign is actually stronger than it was last year.

With Stokes, Livingstone, Buttler, and Archer, the Royals’ 2021 squad is brimming with world-class Englishmen. On top of that, homegrown stars such as Samson, Jaiswal, and Unadkat give the team a strong Indian core.

And when you throw Morris into this mix, it feels like RR could achieve something special this year.

It goes without saying that Rajasthan shouldn’t finish bottom of the table in 2021. In fact, if the Royals get it right this year, they could even find themselves challenging for the title come the end of the campaign.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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