IPL 2020 Preview: Rajasthan Royals (RR)

What perhaps seems another day and age, Rajasthan Royals—lest we forget—were winners of the inaugural Indian Premier League tournament back in 2008. While they’ve had mixed fortunes ever since, RR have always been tricky opponents.

Like the Chennai Super Kings, the Royals too suffer a two-year suspension from the competition. But they returned in 2018 and were, as usual, among the best IPL teams.

They were busy in the recent auction too.  So if you’re looking for IPL online betting, 2020 is building up nicely for those thinking of a strategic punt or two on the Rajasthan Royals.

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IPL is a great tournament to place bets on. Not many expected Rajasthan Royals to win the inaugural edition, but Shane Warne marshalled his troops brilliantly: what a profit that triumph would’ve given bettors! Online cricket betting goes up a notch owing to the nature of IPL, the format and the players involved. Betting on IPL cricket is easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Choose a betting site from the list above and open an account; bonuses are available
  2. Next, pick your deposit option and load funds in INR; many bookmakers accept credit/debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets
  3. And finally, learn about betting odds and go ahead with placing your bet!

WHAT ARE THE ODDS FOR RAJASTHAN ROYALS TO WIN IPL 2020?

The IPL 2020 odds markets are tight at the top, but Rajasthan Royals don’t seem to be drawing interest just yet. But can that change? The 2008 winners—whom, let us remind you again, not many fancied then—can be found at a price of 10.00 with Betway, one spot ahead of last-placed Kings XI Punjab. Bet365, however, don’t give them as much chance. Both Punjab and Rajasthan are available at +900 there.

Depending on your sportsbook of choice therefore, the Royals may be seventh or eighth favourites to win IPL 2020. This might seem a little surprising but shouldn’t be so either. After all, they have largely underachieved since their triumph. And yet, when we look at their players, Rajasthan may well be a value punt. After all, they have made the playoffs in three of their last five appearances.

Rajasthan Royals

WHO ARE THE BEST RR PLAYERS TO BET ON?

Australia’s Steve Smith returns to top level cricket following his ban from the international game. We must wait to see the reception he gets from fans around India. Nevertheless, he is a prolific run scorer and remains a favourite with Rajasthan supporters.

Elsewhere, there is a distinct English flavour to this Royals squad, with four players hopeful of sealing a berth in England’s 2019 World Cup squad. Jos Buttler is a big hitter at the top of the order. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer provide quality as all-round players. Liam Livingstone is a new name and he will have to wait for a starting place. He is also a power hitting batsman, though, who bowls some useful leg spin.

Furthermore, Rajasthan Royals have high class Indian players at their disposal. And the more you look at this squad, the more tempting it is to get involved with the online cricket betting markets. Ajinkya Rahane can score heavily in the T20 format. There will also be batting support from Sanju Samson. Jaydev Unadkat will be hoping for a more positive campaign with his left arm seam, while K Gowtham adds useful off spin.

This is a very balanced squad. If you’re taking an IPL satta online, 2020 might just have given us our tournament winners.

HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS IN RR

Most of Rajasthan’s big-name players are on their retained list. The highest paid men from within the existing squad were Ben Stokes and Steve Smith. Both are claiming $1.7 million. That figure puts them ahead of Sanju Samson at $1.1 million and Jofra Archer at $1 million.

K Gowtham leads the list of players below the one million dollar line at $874,000. So clearly this is one of the better-paid squads in the competition. Salaries for new players dip below these figures. But can the retained players join with the new boys to offer some value in the IPL betting markets this season?

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: HISTORY

The Rajasthan Royals made an instant impact when they won the first Indian Premier League in 2008. After a great group campaign, the final went down to the very last ball as Rajasthan beat Chennai by three wickets. This was a side led by the great Shane Warne and containing Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan and Ravi Jadeja. Sohail Tanvir won the Purple Cap for most wickets, and things were looking bright for the Royals.

Rajasthan Royals became a popular satta in the IPL betting markets. However, fans would have to wait another five years before they made it to the playoffs once again. 2013 was the year that the Royals made it out of the groups with Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson all in the runs.

It wasn’t always a positive tournament for Rajasthan with three players, including Indian international Sreesanth, arrested for spot fixing. The issue came back to haunt the franchise when they were banned for two years from 2016 for their part in match fixing and corruption.

Following their suspension, though, Rajasthan came back strongly in 2018. And with a skilled squad, they made it through to the final eliminator. If you’re getting involved with IPL online betting, 2020 looks good for the Royals. But who are the new players getting on board this season?

IPL RECORD

Here is a full summary of Rajasthan Royals’ results in the Indian Premier League since the tournament began in 2008.

2008: Champion
2009: Sixth
2010: Seventh
2011: Sixth
2012: Seventh
2013: Playoff
2014: Fifth
2015: Playoff
2016: Suspended
2017: Suspended
2018: Playoff
2019: Seventh

It’s been a very hard time for Rajasthan Royals fans in general ever since the win in 2008. Banished from the IPL team list for two years, they returned in 2018. They then had to battle without their captain, Steve Smith. With the Aussie returning for IPL 12 and continuing in IPL 2020, this looks a very strong unit and there’s a lot of matka gambling involving the Royals right now.

NOTABLE PLAYER MOVEMENT

Steve Smith’s return was the big news for Rajasthan Royals last season. Unsurprisingly, the former Australian captain was among those retained by the franchise ahead of last December’s auction in Kolkata.

One of the biggest surprises, however, was the release of Ajinkya Rahane. Not only was the 31-year-old their captain, but he had also represented them in 100 games (and therefore, their most-capped player). Rahane was the Royals’ top run scorer too.

Other players the Royals welcomed include Robin Uthappa, Andrew Tye (Australia), Tom Curran (England) and David Miller (South Africa).

Overall, RR were anything but quiet in the auction and ended up making 11 purchases: the most among all franchises. Should they bring a settled XI to the field, they could—as we mused above—be a value pick in the IPL 2020 odds markets.

PROJECTED RAJASTHAN ROYALS PLAYING XI IN IPL 2020

All IPL teams will have issues trying to fit in their best overseas players. For Rajasthan, though, it looks to be a very big problem. Most people would expect to see Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer as guaranteed starters. And the Royals may well go with that quartet.

But what about Andrew Tye, Tom Curran and the exciting David Miller? They could walk into most IPL teams. But we suspect they will have to be patient in their new home.

Taking all available players into account, we would like to see this starting XI if the Royals expect to make an impact on the online cricket betting markets.

1. Jos Buttler
2. Robin Uthappa
3. Steve Smith
4. Manan Vohra
5. Sanju Samson
6. Ben Stokes
7. Shreyas Gopal
8. Rahul Tewatia
9. Jofra Archer
10. Jaydev Unadkat
11. Mayank Markande

RR: TEAM STRENGTHS

The strength in that XI lies in the batting. There is so much firepower here for the Royals with Buttler, Uthappa, Smith, Samson and Stokes. And there are the likes of Vohra and Gopal to back up the main five.

Of course, no way does that mean the bowling can be overlooked. Archer, Stokes, Unadkat and wily youngster Markande can be more than a handful. They will be ably supported by Gopal and Tewatia.

A combination such as this will definitely attract takes in the IPL 2020 betting market.

RR: TEAM WEAKNESS

Honestly, it’s hard to find a weakness here. Perhaps the Royals lack a balance between cultured batsmen and power hitters. That may seem a strange statement for a side where Buttler opening the batting. But we then have to wait for Stokes to clear the ropes in the later overs. This is where, perhaps, Uthappa’s experience could come to the fore.

On a separate note, apart from Andrew Tye, RR seem to lack strong stand-by options in the bowling department and that could count against them.

WHO ARE THE OWNERS OF RAJASTHAN ROYALS?

Renowned Indian businessmen Manoj Badale OBE and Ranjit Barthakur jointly own the Rajasthan Royals. Both men in charge are familiar faces at Rajasthan Royals matches.

Manoj Badale is the co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot, while Ranjit Barthakur is the founder of Global Management Services. They have invested heavily in the Royals and will be looking for a productive campaign in 2020.

WHAT IS THE HOME GROUND OF RAJASTHAN ROYALS?

The Royals’ main home ground is the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. It has a small capacity at just over 23,000. However, that makes for a very noisy and intimidating atmosphere when the Royals fans are packed in.

Meanwhile, Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad serves as a reserve ground whenever needed. They’ve also played at the Brabourne in Mumbai. Both are bigger venues, but the Royals are better prospects in the IPL betting when they are at their favoured Sawai Mansingh.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: FAST FACTS

Here are some statistics following IPL 2019:

For more IPL 2020 team previews, top players and betting odds, click below:

Chennai Super Kings | Delhi Capitals | Kings XI Punjab | Kolkata Knight Riders | Mumbai Indians | Royal Challengers Bangalore | Sunrisers Hyderabad