Rajasthan Royals began their IPL 2020 campaign on a triumphant note with a 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings, but as they gear up to face an in-form Kings XI Punjab, they may have to tinker with their Playing XI a little.
Rajasthan Royals began their IPL 2020 campaign on a triumphant note with a 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings, but as they gear up to face an in-form Kings XI Punjab, they may have to tinker with their Playing XI a little. Here are the 11 players we reckon Steve Smith will field to make it two wins from two matches.
1 Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper): England wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler joined Rajasthan Royals' training in Sharjah, which could be an indication that his inclusion in the Playing XI is due. With Yashasvi Jaiswal, Buttler could be the perfect guy to open the innings for RR, pushing Steve Smith two slots down to No. 4.
2 Yashasvi Jaiswal: Youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed cheaply in the first game, but his mettle is such that he can roar back to form even if he bats out the first six overs. What Jaiswal did in Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali is something teams are aware of and they wouldn't want to count out the highest run-scorer of the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year.
3 Sanju Samson: The hero of the previous match, Sanju Samson proved why he continues to be a threat in T20 matches. Samson has been with the Royals as far as the mind can remember, and while his innings of 74 off 32 garnered him much praise from his peers and mentors, he will be up for a challenge against Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami and others.
4 Steve Smith (Captain): Smith was the second-highest run scorer for RR in their opening match but his role will be slightly different at No. 4 with the Buttler's return imminent. Smith could play the anchor role while allowing the likes of Samson and others flourish.
5 Robin Uthappa: Against CSK, Uthappa was dismissed cheaply, falling to the leg-spin for Piyush Chawla, and although batting at No. 5 can pose its sets of challenges, Uthappa would bank on his wealth of knowledge and experience to play a handy role in the Royals middle order.
6 Riyan Parag: He has been recognised by the likes of Smith as a special talent in the squad and he will be eager to justify all the praise he has received. He was an integral part of RR's squad last season, so the fans can only expect even bigger things from him this year. He may have fallen cheaply, but the youngster is one knock away from making heads turn.
7 Tom Curran: With his brother Sam doing everything right for CSK, Tom Curran would hope to turn up a better show with both bat and ball. He went for 54 runs from his four overs against CSK the other night with MS Dhoni hitting him for a hat-trick of sixes. With a batting heavy side such as KXIP, RR would hope for a better performance from him.
8 Jofra Archer: It took just one game for Jofra Archer to show why he is a feared cricketer. He scored 27 off eight in an over including four sixes and finished with 1/26 in his four overs, where his pace hardly dropped. His battle with KL Rahul will be one to watch out for.
9 Kartik Tyagi: Fast bowler Kartik Tyagi could be used as an extra bowler in place of Rahul Tewatia. The youngster Kartik Tyagi, who made a name for himself in the U-19 World Cup could also get a chance in Rajasthan Royals' squad. He definitely has a lot of pace in his bowling, but it would be interesting to see how he fares up against the top players of the world.
10 Shreyas Gopal: Shreyas Gopal's figures may read 1/38 but he created a few chances with his leg-spin. He had a fantastic season with RR last year in which he picked up 20 wickets in 14 games, including a hat-trick against Royal Challengers Bangalore and he'd be eager to rediscover the form that made him such a threat.
11 Jaydev Unadkat: A veteran of Indian domestic cricket, Jaydev Unadkat returned expensive figures of 44 from 4 overs without picking up a wicket. But having said that, he is expected to retain his place in the Playing XI and once again lead RR's pace attack against Rahul and his men.