IPL 2020: Rajasthan’s big names need to perform

Ayaz Memon
Filed on October 25, 2020
Jofra Archer (centre) has single-handedly kept the RR alive. (IPL)

The problem is, barring the odd good performance, RR have been consistently below par.

Rajasthan Royals have been an enigma this season. When IPL 2020 began they were among the more fancied teams to make it to the playoffs, and for good reason too.

Getting the world’s best fast bowler (Archer), best batsman (Steve Smith), best all-rounder (Ben Stokes) and best wicket-keeper batsman in white ball cricket (Jos Buttler) was a coup.

Besides these overseas stars, RR also had Sanju Samson. And as the season has progressed, all-rounders Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal – in their contrasting ways, have shown what they are capable of. With such abundant talent, it must seem odd that RR are wiping the floor of the points table, just a notch above bottom-placed CSK as I write this.

The problem is, barring the odd good performance, RR have been consistently below par.

Why have Rajasthan been stragglers instead of front-runners?

The problem is clearly how the big-ticket overseas players have performed. Archer has been brilliant, perhaps the best fast bowler in the tournament, but the others have disappointed.

Stokes has failed to live up to his high reputation. He made a belated entry into the tournament, which increased the expectations, and these have so far been belied.

Without a single wicket or a six hit to his credit, Stokes has hardly looked the match-winning player he is. In fact, RR’s defeat in the previous match against Sunrisers Hyderabad can be traced to his sluggish batting.

Smith and Buttler have been intermittently successful, which is not good enough for a team so dependent on their rich experience.

Furthermore, Samson hasn’t been able to live up to the promise he held out in his first couple of matches where he hit smashing half centuries.

This has put great pressure on the likes of Tewatia, Gopal and Riyan Parag, who’ve shown good spirt, but not adding up to the wherewithal which can win matches consistently.

Archer, primarily, has kept RR alive for a place in the last four, but this means they have to get past a rampaging Mumbai Indian tonight.

Even in Rohit Sharma’s absence, MI looked the best all-round side, and it will need an extraordinary effort to stop their progress. For that to happen, Stokes, Smith, Buttler must all fire

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