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IPL 2019: The look of Rajasthan Royals squad without top players

Rajasthan Royals seem to be in trouble heading into the next season of the IPL.

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

There is just about a week’s time from the end of IPL 2019 to the start of the World Cup 2019. Hence, the recovery and preparation time is considerably less. As a result, we could be witnessing some of the cricket boards refraining their players for taking part in this biggest of T20 leagues.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is quite frenetic and debilitates the players with the amount of cricket and travelling. So, a few players might only take part in the initial leg of the tournament and could pull out for the rest of it. In such a scenario, the balance of the side really gets affected. The Rajasthan Royals is one of those teams which could face the maximum trial if some of its icon players pull out.

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RR to miss its best performers from IPL 2018

The problems for Rajasthan start right at the top of the order. Jos Buttler, who has helped his side stage a miraculous comeback last season could be well missing out. The England Cricket Board (ECB) doesn’t often risk its players for the T20 leagues. Hence, Buttler, who will be their crucial member in the World Cup campaign might not be given the NOC by the board at least for the whole tournament.

Along with Buttler will be his teammate Ben Stokes who could be another English player to miss out. Stokes adds a great balance to the Royals. Although his performance wasn’t exemplary last season, he is someone who can turn the game on its head.

Steve Smith’s IPL participation under the clouds

From Australia, former skipper Steve Smith is another player from the RR who might pull out. He will end his ban towards the end of March. Keeping the World Cup preparations in mind, and for him to get back on track after such a long while, playing the IPL wouldn’t be an ideal plot. He would be rather focussing on 50-overs cricket, in an attempt to gain it back exactly where he lost it by helping his side win the mega tournament. Also, his countryman D’Arcy Short might not feature in the entire tournament.

Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the side for the entire tournament, yet again. His performance would be critical for the side. Jofra Archer is another player they can bank upon. Other than these two, there isn’t much gas left in the side looking at the performances in IPL 2018. Afghan sensation Zahir Khan could be playing this season which will strengthen their side slightly.

Overall Verdict: In the absence of these top-notch players, the Rajasthan Royals will look quite depleted in IPL 2019. They were already struggling in the previous season if it was not to for Jos Buttler who came to their rescue. With not a lot of other overseas options left either, they could well be one of the weakest teams. However, they would be looking forward to getting some good replacements in the auction.

Rajasthan Royals Strongest XI from Remaining Players:

Ajinkya Rahane (C), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson (wk), Stuart Binny, Mahipal Lomror, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan, Jayadev Unadkat/Dhawal Kulkarni.

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