Indian Premier League 2018 auction
IPL has been an integral part of my life since its inception in 2008.IPL Auction always garners a lot of interest and curiosity amidst fans and followers of IPL teams anticipating the best of T20 players to be bought by their favourite team.2018 was no different, in-fact the anticipation had skyrocketed with the return of Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings back to IPL.
As an Official Fan of Rajasthan Royals, This is my first experience of covering IPL auctions live from Ground Zero at ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru on 27th and 28th Jan 2018.
Every team had spent hours in planning their strategy before entering the grand Mysuru hall where the Auctions happen.
Rajasthan Royals surprised many with their approach to the Indian Premier League 2018 auction at Bengaluru by not being the MoneyBalls Side This season.Rajasthan is known to invest more in young players and they did exactly that but in grandeur #HallaBol style, Rajasthan Royals have filled their new squad with experience and young guns with the costliest Bid of 2018 and costliest Indian payer of 2018 as well. Rajasthan Royals was smartly making their bids and brought back some of their former players to the squad who were crowd favourites and have been anchors of RR in the past.The big fish, Ben Stokes, has been roped in their lineup courtesy a whipping deal of INR 12.5 crores. The enormous price tag saw the all-rounder becoming the costliest player in this season of the cash-rich league. The Steven Smith-led side looks like one of the best teams to look out for.Royals squad is looking highly inclined to Smith’s choices. As an effect of his presence, the team management has gone in with newcomer DA’rcy Short. The Australian has made a swift name post his blitz in ongoing BBL 2017-18. Short, at present, the leading run-scorer in the Big Bash league at an average of over 50. Besides, Royals have also included West Indies young all-rounder, Jofra Archer. Archer can provide the extra pace to the bowling unit. One of the players to watch out this IPL! Archer, who plays for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, has impressed with his all-round performance. He has already picked up over 30 wickets in the tournament at an average of 18.1 with an impressive economy rate of 7.81.England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler will now represent Rajasthan Royals, whereas Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, and Sanju Samson would look to commence their second innings with Rajasthan Royals. The most notable surprise from Rajasthan Royals camp came in the form of Afghanistan bowler, Zakir Khan. He was bought for INR 6 lakhs. Jaydev Unadkat, last season’s leading wicket-taker, was sold for INR 11.5 crore (most expensive Indian player in the squad).
Overall, Rajasthan Royals have invested on new uncapped players and balanced the squad with a star-studded lineup as well to give a worthy fight for the IPL 2018 title. They have also got the services of Karnataka Ranji stars: Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham. Here, Shreyas Gopal was Steal Deal. He was brought for his base price (20 lakhs).
Rajasthan Royals have picked 23 players in their squad. Here is a round-up of Rajasthan Royals squad ahead of IPL 2018 — scheduled to commence from April 7.
Batsmen: Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short
The openers for the Royals can be Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi who had an excellent season for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), and he was instrumental in getting them to the IPL Final. Ajinkya would be perfect to strike boundaries in the powerplay overs as he is not a power-hitter and relies on timing. Darcy Short, who plays for Hobart Hurricanes in Big Bash, has scored three half-centuries and a ton in this season for his side.
Batting one down for the Rajasthan Royals can be Sanju Samson who has always dazzled with his batsman-ship as he is a generous timer of the ball. Steven Smith who will lead the Royals can come to bat at the number four position.
All-rounders: Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Ankit Sharma, Jatin Saxena, Vikram Birla, Mahipal Lormor, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal
Royals have included a significant number of all-rounder cricketers in their setup for this season. Some of the worth all-rounders of them happen to be Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Binny and many other impressive players in the category. Ben Stokes who is once again the most costly buy of this season can come to bat at number 5. The England all-rounder can also be handy with the ball. They have kept the fact in consideration that the selected all-rounders provide the desired variety to an extent. Jofra Archer can offer the extra pace to the bowling unit.
Wicket-keepers: Sanju Samson, Prashanth Chopra, Jos Buttler
Royals have included three major wicket-keepers in their tally at the 2018 auction. Rajasthan has secured the services of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and Prashant Chopra out of the rest of the keeper’s lot. However, it remains to be seen that who will take the gloves for the franchise as either of Jos Buttler and Samson emerge to be the possible selections.
Bowlers: Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh
Rajasthan Royals have also filled their bowling division with some of the best bowlers in the shorter version of the game. They picked out the likes of Kulkarni, Krishnappa, Unadkat and many other specialist bowlers. The franchise has taken both the spin as well as fast bowling department extra care! All-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham who was bought for a whopping INR 6.2 Crores will be handy with both bat and ball. There can be variety in the spin department as leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal can come into the playing XI.
Here is the possible playing XI of Royals: MacroTraveller’s Pick!
Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), K Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer.
Strength: Steve Smith and Ben Stokes in the middle-order, it is apparent where the power of the squad lies. Rajasthan Royals have packed a reliable middle order with Jos Buttler.
Smart Buy: The 22-year old West Indies sensation Jofra Archer was bought by Royals for a whopping Rs 7.2 crore after battling it out with at least 5 other franchises to get his service.
Weakness: The weakness with the Rajasthan Royals squad is they have not invested in a lot of capped Indian players. Royals have spent a lot on uncapped talent once again, and it might come back to haunt him, as they might have to depend on overseas ability to look for experience.
Rajasthan Royals squad: Steve Smith (retained 12.5 crore), Ben Stokes (12.5 c), Ajinkya Rahane (4 c), Stuart Binny (50 Lakh), Sanju Samson (8 c), Jos Buttler (4.4 c), Rahul Tripathi (3.4 c), D’Arcy Short (4 c), Jofra Archer (7.2 c), K Gowtham (6.2 Cr), Dhawal Kulkarni (75L RTM), Jaydev Unadkat (11.5 cr), Ankit Sharma (20L), Anureet Singh (30L), Zahir Khan Pakteen (60L), Shreyas Gopal (20L), MS Midhun (20L) Prashant Chopra (20 lakh), Ben Laughlin (Rs 50 Lakh), Mahipal Lomror (Rs 20 Lakh), Jatin Saxena (Rs 20 Lakh), Aryaman Vikram Birla (Rs 30 Lakh) and Dushmantha Chameera (Rs 50 Lakh).
So, Summing up my experience as an Official Fan of Rajasthan for this Edition of IPL 2018 Auctions.The fans are pumped up to see their favourite team coming back in Style and i would be right in saying “The Royals have truly arrived” #AbBagejaDanka
Follow more updates on IPL 2018 : www.iplt20.com