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After the last-place finish in the last edition of the Indian Premier League, the good news for the franchise is that the only way left is up. Rajasthan Royals enters the new season of IPL making some big changes, and hoping it would change the fortunes of the team. Ahead of the mini-auction, the big news was the release of franchise captain Steven Smith. And so they entered the auction with a big purse of 37.85 INR Cr.

 Their first plan of action was the making of young Indian stalwart Sanju Samson, the club captain. After identification of bowling being their weak point, the royals tried to rectify this weakness in the auction eventually making Chris Morris the most expensive player in the IPL auctions

With some inspired decisions, and a new look and feel to the team. Rajasthan Royals will be looking to push up to the top end of the table. After winning the tournament in the inaugural edition, the Royals haven't quite been able to match those heroics. This year as they look for better performances, let's take a look at 5 players expected of top performances.

Jos Buttler

The English batsman is the opener of the world no1 T20 side England, who has been asserting their dominance on the shortest format of the game. With his hard-hitting batting style, Jos Buttler has become one of the most explosive batsmen in world cricket over the last decade. The right-hand batsman will be relied upon once more for fast starts as he opens the innings.

Jos Buttler Rajasthan Royals IPL
Jos Buttler

In last year's IPL, The English batsman scored 328 runs from 13 matches hitting at a strike rate of 144.49 which included 2 half-centuries. He is a consistent performer for the franchise ever since his arrival in 2018. Once again there will be no doubts about his role and his performances will be relied upon. 

Jos Buttler hasn't missed a beat in international cricket, as England dominated the world T20. Although his recent performances in the game have been a rather hit or miss. In the 3rd T20 in the ongoing series against India, the batsman blistered his way to a 52 ball 83. But nothing prior to taking note off. The form of Jos Buttler will be key in deciding where the franchise will end up on the table. 

Sanju Samson 

The Indian batsman is one the management has placed huge hopes on. Nurtured through the years ever since his inclusion in 2013. He is now placed with the great responsibility to lead the team. Many hope the batsman will rise to the occasion as he has been one of the consistent performers for the Royals since his inclusion in the team. 

Sanju Samson Rajasthan Royals IPL
Sanju Samson 

Sanju Samson has the ability to take the game away in an instant with his clean hitting and imposing stroke-making. In IPL 2020, he scored 375 runs from 14 matches at a blistering strike rate of 158.89 which included 3 half-centuries. His best innings was when helped the team chase down Punjab Kings mammoth score of 223 with apparent ease.

The wicket-keeper batsman has always been on the fringes of the national team and not been able to make his opportunities count when given the chance. Leading the Kerala team in Indian domestic tournaments, the team had one of the best showings as of date. But Sanju Samson was off injured before Kerala's quarter-final match in the recent Vijay Hazare which ended in a defeat. Once again this looks like an opportunity for the young batsman to prove his credentials and he will be eager to do so.

Rahul Tewatia

The Indian all-rounder had a breakout season in the last edition of IPL. One of the surprises of the season, It all started in the match against Punjab Kings. Chasing an improbable score of 223, Rahul Tewatia was sent out to bat and was sweating on the crease. Struggling to put bat to ball, the Indian batsman had only scored 8 runs off his first 19 balls. 

Rahul Tewatia Rajasthan Royals IPL
Rahul Tewatia

Then it was in the 17th over fortunes had changed, as Sanju Samson got out for 85 and run rate climbed over 14 and over, everyone thought the game was over. But Rahul Tewatia switched gears and smashed his next 12 balls for 45 runs, eventually the royals running out the winners. This is the kind of performance with which Rahul Tewatia captured the heart of many cricketing fans. 

Having a stellar season, he scored 225 runs with an average of 42.50 striking at a rate of 139.34. He also had a decent outing with the ball claiming 10 wickets at an economy of 7.08. He had a couple of decent performances in the domestic circuit but nothing spectacular. But now coming into the season as a known quantity, the management will be looking up to him sure up their middle order. 

Chris Morris

The most expensive player of the Indian Premier League and the biggest buy in the 2021 mini-auction, Rajasthan Royals really splashed the cash when it came to South African all-rounders. So naturally, with the amount invested in him, expectations will be great for him to perform. His big fee came from him being a consistent performer through the years in various IPL teams. 

Chris Morris Rajasthan Royals IPL
Chris Morris

Ever since he made his IPL debut, the South African all-rounder has scored 551 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 157.87. As a pace bowler, he has bagged over 80 wickets keeping an economy of 7.81. The royals will be expecting his purchase will sure up the pace department and some quick-fire runs down the order as he has done for other teams over the years. 

The only concern is his last international involvement came in March 2019 and hasn't played much cricket after IPL 2020. The only cricket he has played is the Momentum one day cup in the South African domestic level and had no noteworthy performances. Regardless, Chris Morris has always been a dependable player for teams in the IPL and will be expected to perform in leaps and bounds for the royals. 

Jofra Archer 

The English cricketer is the complete package and has quickly become one of the exciting talents of English cricket. With the ability to clear the boundary and hit some useful runs down the order, with the ball he is a completely different prospect leading from the front. With the potential to clock north of 150kph with wide-ranging varieties up his sleeve.

Jofra Archer Rajasthan Royals IPL
Jofra Archer 

Since making his debut in the IPL, the English player has been nothing short of world-class for Rajasthan Royals over 3 years. As a bowler, he has bagged 46 wickets from 35 matches with an economy of only 7.13. Although he didn't get an opportunity to impress with the bat in his debut season, he scored the bulk of his IPL career runs in the last edition, hitting 113 runs with a staggering strike rate of 179.36.

Jofra Archer has lived up to his billing in the English colors also, becoming a mainstay in all formats of the game. He has not quite hit it off in the ongoing series against India but Sanju Samson will completely rely on him to once again spearhead the bowling attack in the upcoming season. 

With an able team organized with strong performers capable in all facets of the game, including a new captain at the helm, Rajasthan Royals will be hoping they don’t have a repeat of last year. Let us know your thoughts regarding where do you expect the royals to end up on the table and who their strong performers will be.