RR की 4 विकेट से जीत, 2 गेंद बाकी
RCB की 112 रन से जीत
RR की 9 विकेट से जीत, 41 गेंद बाकी
SRH की 4 विकेट से जीत, 0 गेंद बाकी
GT की 9 विकेट से जीत, 37 गेंद बाकी
MI की 6 विकेट से जीत, 3 गेंद बाकी
RR की 32 रन से जीत
RCB की 7 रन से जीत
LSG की 10 रन से जीत
RR की 3 विकेट से जीत, 4 गेंद बाकी
Rajasthan RoyalsCaptain: Sanju Samson
Coach: Kumar Sangakkara
Home ground: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
IPL titles: 1 (2008)
Owners: Manoj Badale, Lachlan Murdoch, RedBird Capital Partners
HistoryRoyals had a reputation for their "Moneyball" strategy of budget-conscious buying, and for picking largely unknown talents and backing them. Over the years they unearthed such names as Ravindra Jadeja, Sanju Samson and Yusuf Pathan. However, they also made some of the biggest purchases of them all. They bought England allrounder Ben Stokes for Rs 12.5 crores (about US$1.7 million) and India left-arm fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat for Rs 11.5 crore ($1.6m), both in 2018; in 2021 they bought South Africa allrounder Chris Morris for Rs 16.25 crore ($2.2m) but they released him ahead of the 2022 auction.
The highsThe fairy-tale win in 2008 is what the franchise is best remembered for. That and for largely staying true to their vision of promoting and giving opportunities to a number of young, unknown talents over the years.
The lowsRoyals have not been short on controversy over the years - the most serious of which was in the wake of three players, Sreesanth, Ajay Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, being arrested for spot-fixing. Following the report of the Lodha Committee, which was set up to look into the workings of the BCCI in the wake of the scandal, the board banned the franchise for two years, and one of its owners, Raj Kundra, for life. They also failed to make the playoffs for the third year in a row, finishing second-last on the table in 2021.
Season by season
Described as underdogs coming into the tournament, RR made headlines with a spectacular run, winning 11 out of 14 games in the group stage. Standout efforts from Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Pathan, and the captain, Warne, all through the season helped them lift the trophy, defeating MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Royals were without two of their best players from the previous year: Tanvir was ineligible after the BCCI banned Pakistani players from taking part in the IPL, and Watson missed out due to Australia commitments. They dropped seven players in the middle of the tournament, and finished with seven losses.
Pathan set the stage on fire in Royals' season opener against Mumbai Indians, hitting the fastest IPL hundred at the time, off 37 balls, but his team fell short by four runs. They lost the next two games as well, but then had four wins on the trot, before losing five out of their next seven matches and finishing second from last on the table.
In what proved to be their last season under Warne, Royals started with a series of wins but were then derailed by heavy losses, including four in a row in the latter half of the group stage. They had Rahul Dravid, Ross Taylor and Paul Collingwood in their ranks, and had managed to buy back Shaun Tait, but they still only won six matches out of 14.
Another dismal season, with seven wins in 16 matches, though Ajinkya Rahane shone for the team. He scored a 66-ball 98 in the season opener and then 103 off 60 in a group game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, finishing with 560 runs in 16 matches for the season.
RR made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Watson, the Player of the Tournament for his 543 runs in 16 games, played a major role in their qualifying for the playoffs, where they won the eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad but lost to Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier.
Royals retained Samson, Rahane, Watson, James Faulkner and Stuart Binny, and bought Smith, Tim Southee, Karun Nair, Dhawal Kulkarni and Abhishek Nayar at the auction. Dravid stayed on as a mentor after retiring as a player. Royals ended up missing out on a playoffs spot due to a narrow net run rate difference with Mumbai Indians.
The team enjoyed their strongest start, with five straight wins. However, their momentum was thwarted by a few losses in the middle and a couple of abandoned matches. They still managed to finish in the top four but eventually lost in the eliminator to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
They returned from suspension but had a topsy-turvy season under Rahane. There were some brilliant individual performances but their two biggest buys - Unadkat and Stokes - failed to live up to their price tag, and RR crashed out of the playoffs in the eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders, losing by 25 runs.
Going into the tournament, there were questions over Rahane's position as captain and his middle-order spot. Royals stuttered again with five losses in their first six games, before Smith came in to lead midway through. Shreyas Gopal and Archer impressed, but Stokes' returns were modest, and the team finished at No. 7 for the third time in their history.
Royals started well with wins in their first two games, but slumped after that, winning only four of their next 12 matches and finishing last on the table. Apart from Archer's consistent brilliance with the ball and a few extraordinary individual performances, there was little to celebrate.
Yet another disappointing season, with just five wins in 14 games. They were without two of their biggest names, Archer and Stokes, for the entire tournament, and their other mainstay, Buttler, also pulled out of the UAE leg. They could never find the right combination as a result, and the captain, Samson, was left to do most of the work in the batting department.
Royals' best season since 2008. While Buttler, who finished with 863 runs in 17 innings, was the key performer, their new-look bowling attack of R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna also came good. Buttler and Chahal, who finished as the top run scorer and wicket-taker of the season, were key in their making it to the final, where they lost to Gujarat Titans.
After winning all but one of their first five games, Royals flipped the script, winning just one of their next five. Yashasvi Jaiswal was a force for them, setting a record for the fastest IPL fifty (13 balls) and also making a hundred and an unbeaten 98. Jos Buttler, on the other hand, was a shadow of the player he was in 2022, finishing with three ducks in a row.
Watson was the player of the tournament in Royals' successful first season, and he played for them until 2015, scoring 2372 runs, picking up 61 wickets, and starring in many of the team's wins. When he retired from the game after the 2020 season, he was still No. 2 on Royals' run-makers list and No. 1 on their wicket-takers list.
Rahane was picked by Royals as an uncapped player in 2011 and went on to become the franchise's top run-scorer, with 2810 from 100 matches. Royals bought him back in 2018 when they returned from their ban, after his two seasons with Rising Pune Supergiant, but he had poor returns over the next couple of years and was released ahead of the 2020 auction.
The franchise bought Samson in 2013, when he was 18, and he immediately impressed with the bat and as keeper. He performed consistently in the next two seasons, and was signed again after the franchise's return from their ban. Samson has been a mainstay of Royals' batting since, and he is their top run-scorer of all time, with 3211 runs as at the end of the 2023 season.
Buttler impressed in his maiden season with the franchise in 2018, racking up 548 runs in 13 games. He was retained ahead of the 2022 auction for Rs 10 crore ($1.3 million) and he finished as the best batter of that season, with 863 runs at an average of 57.53 and a strike rate of 149.05. His four centuries in the season were the joint-most for any player in a T20 series or tournament.
- M Ashwin
- R Ashwin
- KM Asif
- Abdul Basith
- Trent Boult (OP)
- Jos Buttler (OP)
- KC Cariappa
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Donovan Ferreira (OP)
- Shimron Hetmyer (OP)
- Jason Holder (OP)
- Yashasvi Jaiswal
- Dhruv Jurel
- Obed McCoy (OP)
- Devdutt Padikkal
- Riyan Parag
- Akash Vasisht
- Kunal Singh Rathore
- Joe Root (OP)
- Navdeep Saini
- Sanju Samson
- Kuldeep Sen
- Sandeep Sharma
- Akash Vashisht
- Kuldip Yadav
- Adam Zampa (OP)