Friday, February 6, 2009

IPL Team Review - Rajasthan Royals

IPL's second edition is two months away but with the auction taking place today the teams have started to shape up.

So what are the chances of the 8 franchises?

I plan to review all 8 in a series of posts starting with this one. No better way to start than with the team that will be defending the title.

We all made the same mistake last year when we proclaimed that the Rajasthan Royals were the weakest team in the IPL.

We all know how that turned out.

With Watson and Tanvir, two of the stars of their successful campaign last season, missing from action this time round, the word is that the Royals have been severely depleted.

Would you dare call them weakened?

Repeat the same mistake you made last season?

With Warne at the helm, no team can be discounted.

Their two picks in today's auction were Tyron Henderson and Shaun Tait.

Henderson who? Henderson is the leading wicket taker in all 20-20 cricket and he hits the ball a fair distance. He played an instrumental role in guiding Middlesex to the T20 title last summer.

An apt replacement for Watson then I would say. With Warne's magic touch, Henderson could very well be the player to watch out for this season.

Shaun Tait is ideal for 20-20 cricket. 4 over bursts of extremely fast bowling. With Warne guiding him, Tait can even eclipse what Tanvir did last season.

With Watson and Tanvir's absence easily covered, the Royals are hardly weaker than last time

Instead I would say they may even be a stronger unit.

Their Indian players, though not the heavyweights of Indian cricket, are more than handy players.

Last season saw all of them up their game a notch. Thats what Warne does to you. Yusuf Pathan, R Jadeja, Mohammad Kaif, Munaf Patel, Swapnil Asnodkar, and Siddarth Trivedi will be back this season.

Back better than they were last season.

Pathan has since become a regular feature in India's ODI team and his reputation has been significantly enhanced.

Jadeja had an outstanding Ranji season, which resulted in his promotion to India's ODI squad.

Remember Warne calls him the future superstar of Indian cricket.

Definitely a stronger unit in my view.

With Graeme Smith guiding the batting and Mascarenhas also available for the entire season, the team has shaped up well.

Before the auction Warne had roped in Justin Langer and Morne Morkel to his roster, both of whom could be trump players for the Royals.

Langer could fill in, in case Smith goes away and gets that surgery he's been talking about. While Morkel, along with Tait, provides with potent pace attack.

Teams will make a huge mistake if they under estimate the Royals.

The Core Team: Shane Warne, Graeme Smith, Justin Langer, Dmitri Mascarenhas, Mohammad Kaif, Yusuf Pathan, Swapnil Asnodkar, R Jadeja, Siddarth Trivedi, Munaf Patel, Tyron Henderson, Shaun Tait, Niraj Patel, Mahesh Rawat, Morne Morkel, Shane Watson.

Prediction: Its going to be a tough task defending the championship as the other teams look much stronger than last season. But then strong players don't make a strong team as the Deccan Chargers taught us last season. A semi final berth atleast should be expected of the Rajasthan Royals unless something goes terribly wrong with Shane Warne's man management skills. As long as Shilpa Shetty is considered as the motivation and not the distraction, I see the Royals as one of the semi finalists. Surely.

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Graeme Smith wont be playing mostly as he is newly passionate abt playing for SA and post home Aussie series he would go for Tennis elbow surgery :)

  2. Anonymous said...

    One guy whose career did a U-turn after he played under Shane is Munaf Patel. He was written off as an unenthusiastic and lazy cricketer. They were simply unable to inspire him in the national squad and when Gavaskar lays into a player for not giving enough for their country, thats usually a death sentence. Given that Gavaskar himself chose to concede a match when he wasn't happy with an LBW and was apparently sledged, and then apologised for it and got a second chance, its only fair that he gives someone like Munaf Patel a second chance, after the guy shows some hunger.
    Sorry went off topic, but my point is that thats what someone like Shane Warne can bring to a team, like when he took over in the '99 semifinal when Steve Waugh looked plain overwhelmed and completely unsure about everything.

  3. Q said...

    Chaotic Horizon the Aussie series will end on 18th and if Smith delays his surgery he might be there. Otherwise Langer it is.

  4. Q said...

    Agreed Achettup.. Warne Power cannot be discounted.

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