Having lifted the trophy in the inaugural season back in 2008, they recently made it to the final last year, showcasing the resilience and talent that defines this franchise. As the IPL returns to the home-and-away format this season, Rajasthan Royals, led by the dynamic Sanju Samson, are gearing up for a thrilling campaign, and here’s everything you need to know about their players, strategies, and what to expect in the upcoming season.

Team Overview

The Rajasthan Royals’ journey in the IPL has been a rollercoaster ride. They tasted success early, winning the championship in 2008, but had to wait 14 years for another shot at the title. Last season, under the leadership of Sanju Samson, they stormed into the final, only to narrowly miss out to the Gujarat Titans. 

With the return to the home-and-away format, the Royals face the unique challenge of playing five home games at the iconic Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur and two matches at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati. Adjusting to these varied conditions in a short span of time will be a test for the team. Nevertheless, the Royals will once again place their faith in the core group of players, including Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, R. Ashwin, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Strengths: Bowling 

The Rajasthan Royals have built a balanced and formidable squad. One of their standout strengths is their impressive bowling lineup. Spearheaded by Trent Boult and supported by Jason Holder, the pace attack looks formidable. In the spin department, the experienced campaigners R. Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, who played pivotal roles in guiding the Royals to the final last year, form a lethal combination. Additionally, the recent inclusion of Australian spinner Adam Zampa, fresh from a successful ODI series against India, adds depth and variety to their spin arsenal.

Weaknesses: Middle-Order Batters

While the Royals possess a formidable top-order featuring the likes of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and Yashasvi Jaiswal, their middle-order struggled for consistency in the previous season. Players like Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, and Riyan Parag found themselves faltering in tricky situations, raising concerns for the team.

Key Players to Watch

Sanju Samson (Captain): The young leader of the team has already shown his class by guiding the Royals to their first final since 2008. Despite falling short of the title, Samson displayed the tenacity and temperament required to lead the team. 

Jos Buttler (Overseas Player): In the 2022 season, Jos Buttler was the tournament’s highest run-scorer, amassing 863 runs in 17 innings with an impressive average of 57.53. His aggressive batting style was a significant factor behind the team’s success. 

Yuzvendra Chahal (Best Indian Player): Yuzvendra Chahal earned the Purple Cap last year, finishing as the leading wicket-taker with 27 scalps. His middle-over breakthroughs were instrumental for the Royals. 

Kuldeep Sen (Best Uncapped Player): The young fast bowler from Madhya Pradesh, Kuldeep Sen, made a memorable impact in the 2022 season with eight wickets from seven matches. His ability to consistently clock 140kmph and unsettle opposition batters marked him as a player to watch.