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New-look Rajasthan aim to end long wait for second title in Indian T20 League 2022

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Inaugural Indian T20 League champions Rajasthan will look to make amends in the upcoming 2022 edition of the league after their dismal campaign last time around.

Under captain Sanju Samson, Rajasthan managed just five wins in 14 matches in Indian T20 League 2021 as they finished seventh in the eight-team tournament. In fact, Rajasthan have struggled to reach the Indian T20 League playoffs since 2018. They have ended seventh, eighth and seventh in their last three campaigns.

Ahead of the 15th edition of the Indian T20 League, the team management decided to build a new squad from scratch.

The Rajasthan-based franchise will hope to replicate their fairy tale campaign under former captain and coach Shane Warne, who had led them to their maiden Indian T20 League title in 2008.

With a revamped squad, Team Rajasthan will look to make a new start and here we analyze what they have in the offering for the 2022 season.

Team Rajasthan squad

Ahead of the Indian T20 League 2022 mega auction, Team Rajasthan retained captain Sanju Samson (INR 14 crore), England wicket-keeper batter Jos Buttler (INR 10 crore) and former Under-19 World Cup star Yashaswi Jaiswal (INR 4 crore) . 

In the two-day mega auction held in Bengaluru last month, Rajasthan shelled out INR 8.5 crore to secure the service of swashbuckling West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer

The Kumar Sangakkara-coached side also spent heavily on New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult (INR 8 crore) and former Bangalore opening batter Devdutt Padikkal (INR 7.75 crore).

Rajasthan also acquired the services of Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (INR 6.5 crore) and Ravichandran Aswin (INR 5 crore).

The franchise further roped in Australia pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 2 crore), New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham (INR 1.5 crore) and South Africa batter Rassie van der Dussen (INR 1 crore). 

Among domestic players, Rajasthan bought back Riyan Parag for INR 3.8 crore and bagged pacer Navdeep Saini for INR 2.6 crore.

Team Rajasthan squad for Indian T20 League 2022: Sanju Samson (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell

Team Rajasthan strengths and weaknesses

Strengths

Rajasthan have assembled a strong batting line-up with the likes of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer and Rassie van der Dussen in their ranks. It will be interesting to see who the team management opt to open their batting this season. In Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson, Rajasthan have two of the most explosive batters in the T20 format. 

 

With Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal at their disposal, the franchise arguably has one of the best spin departments this season. Rajasthan will hope the duo will choke the opposition with quality spin on spin-friendly India pitches.

Weaknesses

While Rajasthan have a quality top-order, their middle-order looks brittle and could be susceptible under pressure. Having purchased Shimron Hetmyer, James Neesham and Rassie van der Dussen, Rajasthan will hope they can get a better return from their middle-order. Hetmyer has played some quality knocks for Team Delhi in the previous editions of the Indian T20 League. Apart from Hetmyer, van der Dussen and Neesham, Rajasthan will have to bank on India talents to shoulder the responsibility in the crucial middle-order.

The franchise also doesn't have quality backups for their Indian players. Apart from Jaiswal, Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna and Karun Nair, they have a dearth of promising young domestic players.

Who can be the highest run-scorer for Team Rajasthan?

Team Rajasthan will hope that their star batter Jos Buttler can find early form in the Indian T20 League 2022. Buttler looked in great form in the first leg of Indian T20 League 2021 in India, amassing 254 runs in seven matches at a strike rate of 153.01 and an average of 36.26. 

After the remainder of the tournament was moved out of India to UAE due to rising COVID-19 cases, the wicket-keeper batter missed the second half due to the impending birth of his second child. His absence affected Rajasthan's form as they managed just two wins from their remaining seven matches in UAE. Buttler will once again play a pivotal role in deciding Rajasthan’s fortune and is expected to be the highest run-scorer for his team this season.

Who can be the highest wicket-taker for Team Rajasthan?

India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will have a point to prove after he was roped in by Team Rajasthan for INR 6.5 crore at the mega auction. The 31-year-old leg-spinner had picked 18 wickets in 15 matches for his former side Bangalore last season. Having made his Indian T20 League debut in 2014, Chahal has been a match-winner as he has bagged 139 wickets in 114 matches at an economy of 7.59. Considering the upcoming edition of the league will be held in India, Chahal is expected to play an important role for Rajasthan and could be the highest wicket-taker for his side this season.

Where will Team Rajasthan finish in Indian T20 League 2022?

A lot will depend on Rajasthan’s batting trio of captain Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal if they are to make the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Provided the Rajasthan batting department clicks this season, they could finally end their wait of playing in the Indian T20 League playoffs.

Rajasthan Indian T20 League 2022 schedule, fixtures and match times

All times are in India Standard Time (IST)

Day and Date Fixtures Venue Time
Tuesday, March 29 Hyderabad vs Rajasthan  MCA Stadium 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 2 Mumbai vs Rajasthan DY Patil Stadium 3:30 PM
Tuesday, April 5 Rajasthan vs Bangalore Wankhede Stadium 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 10 Rajasthan vs Lucknow Wankhede Stadium 7:30 PM
Thursday, April 14 Rajasthan vs Gujarat  DY Patil Stadium 7:30 PM
Monday, April 18 Rajasthan vs Kolkata Brabourne Stadium  7:30 PM
Friday, April 22 Delhi vs Rajasthan MCA Stadium 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 26 Bangalore vs Rajasthan MCA Stadium 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 30 Rajasthan vs Mumbai DY Patil Stadium 7:30 PM
Monday, May 2 Kolkata vs Rajasthan Wankhede Stadium 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 7 Punjab vs Rajasthan Wankhede Stadium 3:30 PM
Wednesday, May 11 Rajasthan vs Delhi DY Patil Stadium 7:30 PM
Sunday, May 15 Lucknow vs Rajasthan Brabourne Stadium  7:30 PM
Friday, May 20 Rajasthan vs Chennai Brabourne Stadium  7:30 PM


Featured photo: AFP/ Sajjad HUSSAIN /INDRANIL MUKHERJEE 




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