IPL 2020 Preview: Rajasthan Royals (RR)

Rajasthan Royals surprised fans when entering as underdogs in 2008 tournament, they won the inaugural Indian Premier League. They are known to unearth obscure, high potential talent, they have impressed fans in bits and pieces, but they could never repeat their performance of the first edition of the tournament.

Like the Chennai Super Kings, the Royals too suffer a two-year suspension for a spot-fixing case. On their return in 2018, they reached play-offs to finish fourth. They slipped to seventh position last year, but the team has made the maximum changes of all eighth teams in the IPL auction for the current season. They purchased 11 players, and retained star players – Steve Smith, Jos Butler, Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson.

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 12.00 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 +1000 there.

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Depending on your sportsbook of choice therefore, the Royals may be seventh or eighth favourites to win the IPL 2020. This might seem a little surprising but shouldn’t be so either. After all, they have largely underachieved since their title win in 2008. 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?

Skipper Steve Smith is one of the world’s best batsmen as he has won many accolades for his outstanding batting. Returning from a ban in 2019, he took over Rajasthan’s captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane midway through their campaign. He scored 319 runs in 12 matches last season. He will definitely be a player to watch out for.  You can consider placing a bet on Steven Smith as the top tournament batsman.

Elsewhere, there is a distinct English flavour to the Royals squad, with some of the finest England’s 2019 World Cup-winning players. Jos Buttler is a big hitter at the top of the order. He was one of the leading scorers for Rajasthan, aggregating 311 runs in just eight matches. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer provide quality as all-round players.

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 was traded to Delhi Capitals, but Rajasthan have retained Sanju Samson. Rajasthan spent Rs 3 crore each to purchase Robin Uthappa and Jaydev Unadkat. Uthappa is a seasoned IPL player with 4,411 runs in 177 games. Shreyas Gopal, who took 20 wickets in 14 matches last season, is also expected to impress through his bowling this year.

Rising star Yashasvi Jaiswal is also a talked-about player. Rajasthan spent Rs 2.40 crore to sign the 18-year-old who scored a double century in 154 balls at the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Mumbai this season.

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. Stoked was signed for $1.8 million, while Smith got $1.7 million. Sanju Samson is also above one-million mark at $1.1 million, while Jofra Archer will get richer by $1 million.

Jos Buttler is getting $0.62 million for his services to the Rajasthan team. Salaries for new players dip below these figures, but Rajasthan is a better-paid side in IPL. Can the retained players join with the new boys to offer some value in the IPL betting markets this season?

RAJASTHAN ROYALS: HISTORY

In a tournament, where teams from big cities signed top players of that time, Rajasthan Royals didn’t have a starry line-up to boast on. But they stunned the top teams to clinch the inaugural IPL title in 2008. After a glorious group campaign in the league stage, the final went down to the last ball as Rajasthan beat Chennai by three wickets. Nobody had thought side made up with Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan and most of the youngsters will emerge champions, beating MS Dhoni-led team in the final. Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir won the Purple Cap for most wickets (22). His performance of six for 14 against Chennai is still the second-best performance in IPL. With the title victory in IPL, things were looking bright for the Royals.

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

Spot fixing saga

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 announced Steve Smith as their captain. Two-year gap seemed to have done no damage to team, as with a young squad, they made it through to the final eliminator. However, they crashed out of the tournament, losing to Kolkata Knight Riders by 25 runs. If you’re getting involved with IPL online betting, 2020 looks good for the Royals. But which new players can perform well for them 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.

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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. Buttler, Stokes, Archer and Samson have also been retained.

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 also the Rajatshan’s top run scorer (2,810 runs) in IPL.

Other players the Rajasthan 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 the 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.

It will complete Rajasthan’s overseas line-up and it will leave no space for Andrew Tye, Tom Curran and the hard-hitting David Miller? They have the right skills to make any IPL team, but in the presence of better-performing international stars, will they get a place in final 11?

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

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RAJASTHAN ROYALS (RR): TEAM STRENGTHS

The team’s strength is their strong batting line-up in top and middle order. The firepower of Buttler, Uthappa, Smith, Samson and Stokes can help Rajasthan pile up big totals. The likes of Vohra and Gopal are there to back up the main five batsmen in death overs.

Of course, strong batting line-up does not mean Rajasthan’s bowling can be overlooked. Unadkat, Archer, Stokes, 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 bookmakers in the IPL 2020 betting market.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS (RR): TEAM WEAKNESS

The team looks balanced and 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 is 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 as an opener.

On a separate note, Rajatshan have a good bowling attack, but apart from Andrew Tye, they seem to lack strong stand-by options 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 the Rajasthan Royals matches.

Manoj Badale is the co-founder of Blenheim Chalcot, and chairman of the British Asian Trust, 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 home ground for Rajasthan Royals is the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Established in 1969, the stadium has the capacity of 30,000. The stadium, which also hosts international matches, is mostly full during the Rajasthan matches.

However, this time the IPL has moved to the United Arab Emirates where the matches will likely be played in empty stadiums due to coronavirus threat. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will host all the matches of the competition. They will be neutral venues for all the teams, means Rajasthan won’t feel pressure of performing in away conditions.

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