IPL 2020: 3 changes Rajasthan Royals must do to accommodate Jos Buttler into Playing XI

Royals tweaked their batting order in their very first game. The young Yashasvi Jaiswal opened the batting alongside Steve Smith, followed by Sanju Samson at Number 3.

Jos Buttler
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Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

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Rajasthan Royals started off their Dream11 IPL campaign with a win against Chennai Super Kings. Thanks to a late knock from Jofra Archer in the last over, Royals powered up to a total of 216. CSK tried to take the game as deep as possible. Yet their effort went in vain as they lost the encounter by 16 runs.

Royals tweaked their batting order in their very first game. The young Yashasvi Jaiswal opened the batting alongside Steve Smith, followed by Sanju Samson at Number 3. Although it paid off, there were some discrepancies with the batting order. After the explosive innings from Samson came to an end in the 12th over, Steve Smith did not find a batting partner who stuck around.

The four overseas players were– Steve Smith the captain, David Miller who got run out without facing a delivery, Tom Curran who although picked a wicket remained on the expensive side, and Jofra Archer whose performance was instrumental for the victory. With the likes of Buttler in the dugout, it is probably the time to bring him into action. Buttler is an explosive wicket-keeper batsman who often opens the batting.

Here are Three changes RR must make in order to make roam for Jos Buttler in the Playing XI:

1. Drop Tom Curran and Yashasvi Jaiswal

The first and foremost factor to consider in order to include Buttler in the playing XI is whom to drop in the overseas quota. Since IPL rules allow only 4 overseas players, one option is to drop Tom Curran.

The English fast bowler, coming from a successful tournament against Australia in the UK, did give away one too many in the match against CSK. Although he picked up Kedhar Jadav, his bowling stats do not show satisfying performance. He gave away 54 runs with a poor economy of 13.50.

Dropping Tom Curran seems to an option for the RR management and Captain. Although that would mean that Jaiswal will have to sit out making way for Buttler to open the batting. Robin Uthappa batting alongside Buttler will make a good opening pair for RR.

Uthappa batting at 5 will not get the best out of the right-hander. His role at KKR in the previous years batting up the order did help the side get off to a great start. Giving him the same opportunity at RR might help the side in the tournament.

In order to compensate for the fast bowling department, Ankit Rajpoot or Varun Aaron can be included. Ankit Rajpoot is a right-arm fast bowler who can provide Jofra Archer and Unadkat support. His career-best of 5-14 came in IPL 2018 against SRH. The Indian pace bowler Varun Aaron can add the extra zip factor in the bowling lineup. Bowling at a good pace, Aaron is capable of bowling at the death as well as with the new ball.

2. Drop David Miller

Buttler adds a sense of confidence and firepower to the side. The hard-hitting right-hander will certainly help Rajasthan Royals make the most out of the powerplay. The Englishman also the ability to bat through the innings providing stability from one end. This allows RR to possibly drop David Miller from the playing XI and include Buttler instead.

David Miller in the IPL over the years has played an important role batting at the lower middle-order. But maybe it is time for the South African to make way for Buttler who also offers wicket-keeping skills. David Miller was quite unfortunate in the first game of the tournament getting run-out without even facing a delivery. Buttler who has the same boundary clearing capabilities as Miller might just be the option in the upcoming matches in the Dream11 IPL 2020.

This change in the squad will not alter the balance of the side majorly. Although the batting order that was used in the first match cannot be retained. Since Buttler in T20 format has shown great impact as an opener, he will most definitely open the batting. The batting order will have to drop by one position, making Steve Smith bat at 3.

3. Drop Robin Uthappa and Tom Curran

Robin Uthappa is a successful Indian batsman who been around in the international as well as domestic circuits for a while now. His IPL career started at Royal Challengers Banglore and later found much success with the KKR. Uthappa is a technically sound batsman who is capable of counteracting the swinging balls at the start.

Hence, his strength is definitely batting at the top. But the multi-star Rajasthan top-order batting line up looks quite settled. Making changes at the top might not be the best choice for Smith and his boys.

Best possible option to fit Buttler into the playing XI is by opening up a batting slot removing Robbie. Tom Curran must be the overseas player to sit out. Archer, Smith and Miller are the three overseas players who will play the maximum number of matches for RR.

By having Buttler and Steve at the top 3 and Miller at the middle will provide RR best chance to either put up or chase a huge total. Having Miller will give the Royals the firey finish they need at the death overs.

Again replacement for Tom Curran as a bowler may be Varun Aaron, the young Kartik Tyagi or Ankit Rajpoot. The 19-year-old Kartik Tyagi certainly impressed everyone with his new ball ability. He can compliment well along with the likes of Unadkat and Archer. Varun Aaron is also a feasible choice. He has given some memorable performances playing for Rajasthan Royals.