Padikkal finished as the top-scorer in both the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy last season. In the latter, the 20-year-old opener scored 580 runs at a strike rate of 175.75 and struck a 50-plus score every two innings on average.
Assuming Aaron Finch and Josh Philippe fight for one opening spot, Padikkal and Parthiv Patel will fight for the other. With AB de Villiers as an option to keep wickets as well - apart from Philippe himself - Padikkal is well-placed to beat Patel to a starting spot.
A compact and aggressive batsman, Gaikwad has scored more List A runs than anyone for India A in the last two years - 843 runs in 15 innings, at a strike rate of 105, and has a "sharp cricket mind," according to MS Dhoni.
Gaikwad bats as both an opener and a No. 3. In Suresh Raina's absence, he is considered as the front-runner at one-down.
Samad is a finisher at the domestic level, handpicked by VVS Laxman himself. He is a brutal hitter against spin bowling and led the fight with team-mate Shubham Khajuria when Jammu & Kashmir nearly managed to pip Karnataka to a Ranji Trophy semi-final spot. He hit the most number of sixes in the last Ranji season despite playing two matches fewer than possible, and has a career strike rate of 112.97 in first-class cricket.
If Sunrisers continue to keep Manish Pandey in the top four, two spots open up for finishers at six and seven. He will potentially fight Virat Singh, Mohammad Nabi and Fabian Allen for those.
There isn't a level of limited-overs cricket that the 18-year-old hasn't dominated so far. He has six 50-plus scores and averages 70.81 in 13 List A matches, with a double-century in there, and was the leading run-scorer at this year's Under-19 World Cup.
Assuming Jos Buttler has one opening slot reserved for himself, Jaiswal will be up against the likes of Manan Vohra and Robin Uthappa - maybe even Sanju Samson if Royals want Steven Smith no lower than No. 3 - for the other spot. He's likely to get a go in his best position, even if that means he isn't a regular in the XI.
Khan has been caught in many crossfires, some of his own making, others to do with team management; but he is only 22, and has come screaming back to top-level cricket with scores of 301*, 226*, 78, 25, 177 and 6 in his last six first-class innings. He is an instinctively aggressive batsman, and format means little in comparison to confidence.
Played eight innings for Kings XI last year in various middle-order roles, and that is likely to be the case this season too.
At 17, he became the IPL's youngest half-centurion last year, and showed a wide range as a cricketer - whether in his 29-ball 43 in a winning chase against Mumbai Indians, or with his many variations that make his bowling style difficult to classify. He was one of the finds of last season.
Parag is only 18, but seems a frontrunner for the middle-order spot among domestic batsmen in the Royals squad.
Lomror likes to hit straight and then not watch where the ball has gone. There are fears, though, that this fluency is restricted to power-hitting against spin. In a Royals video, he is heard telling his batting coach Amol Muzumdar that he is not quite comfortable against high pace. A spin power-hitter, though, is a valuable commodity in T20 cricket, which is why Royals would be trying hard to take his game to a level where he can be a regular starter in their XI.
Royals seem to have set up for a largely Indian middle and lower order. Lomror could slot in at No. 6 for them occasionally, perhaps higher depending on Ben Stokes' availability.