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Feature

Rajasthan Royals will want a middle-order batter and allrounders

They reached the final last season and will want to add depth to their batting to go one better this time

Trent Boult got rid of Matthew Wade during a strong powerplay bowling show for Royals, Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals, Final, IPL 2022, Ahmedabad, May 29, 2022

Rajasthan Royals reached the final in IPL 2022  •  BCCI

Who they've got
Rajasthan Royals had their best IPL season since 2008 in 2022, when they finished as runners-up. They have let go of nine players since, but have retained their key personnel.
Current squad: Sanju Samson (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa
What they have to play with
They have a total of INR 13.2 crore (USD 1.6 million approx.) in their pocket, which is not great seeing that they have nine slots to fill. Four of those are possible overseas slots.
What they need
  • One of Royals' biggest strengths is their top order, which has Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson, in the main. But the next three - Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer and Riyan Parag - did not click as expected last season. Importantly, bar Parag, they don't have anyone there that can bowl an over or two. So a batting allrounder will be a huge help. Someone who can do what James Neesham, who they have let go, can do when at his best.
  • They have a number of excellent bowlers in Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Some back-ups for these players, both overseas and Indian, will help.
  • They have a reputation for picking little-known Indian players and backing them, so expect a few of those this time too.
  • The likely targets
  • Royals would want to have solid back-up batters, and Harry Brook, who can play both as a top-order batter and in the middle order, could be one of their targets. There's also Najibullah Zadran, who plays for Barbados Royals in the CPL. Of Indian options, they could go for Rohan Kunnummal or Bikramkumar Das or Chirag Gandhi.
  • They do have Obed McCoy, but with options like Reece Topley, Chris Jordan and Josh Little around, they might be tempted.
  • A few options for them in the uncapped category could be Mumbai left-arm spinner Shams Mulani and Himachal Pradesh's batting allrounder Sumeet Verma.

    Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo