In the brand-new season of IPL Rajasthan Royals (RR) kicked off their tournament as an underdog. Absence of Steve Smith and their failure to design a perfect playing XI had cost them crucial matches at the beginning of the season. The hope of playing the playoffs was bleak. A slow start from captain Ajinkya Rahane and D’arcy Short never allowed them to rattle opposition teams.
On the other hand, middle order was facing the burnt owing to top order’s inability to give the team a flying start. At the same time, RR think-tank failed to find out the talent for each position. However, before it gets too late they made much needed corrections to salvage their shrinking ship.
So, here are 4 changes that inspired RR to salvage their campaign.
Promoting Jos Buttler as opener
This was their biggest masterstroke in IPL 2018. At the beginning of the 11th edition of IPL RR kept Jos Buttler at the middle order. He played a few spectacular innings to help RR win matches, but when RR promoted him as the opener he blew away the opposition bowlers as he got the freedom to hit the new ball as per his wish. He played 13 matches and scored 548 matches at an astonishing average of 54.80. He slammed five fifties.
Out of those fifties he slammed three 80 plus innings. His highest score in the tournament was unbeaten 95. But, Buttler’s unexpected selection in the England Test side is a big blow to RR as they will not get him in the playoffs. However, notwithstanding he was one of the men who salvaged RR’s campaign in IPL 2018.
Demoting Sanju Samson to middle order
When Sanju Samson is known for opening the innings he was asked to play as a middle order batsman. The southpaw didn’t hesitate to play the role successfully. His ability to play quickfire innings made him one of the key players of RR playing XI. His presence in the middle order also strengthened their batting attack.
Samson will play a key role in RR’s playoff match against KKR who defeated RR in both of the away and home matches. So, in the playoffs Samson will not let the opportunity to go easily.
Bringing Jofra Archer to playing XI
In this edition of IPL RR purchased bowlers who failed to prove worth. The likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni failed to justify their selection in the team. To dwarf their failure RR brought rising all-rounder Jofra Archer to the team to strengthen the bowling attack as well as the batting attack.
He played 9 matches and took 13 wickets at a superb average of 22.46. He failed to score runs but if he gets the going he will be a dangerous batsman. His ability to take wickets and keep batsmen under check made him one of the biggest weapons of RR. In the playoffs match he will a key man for RR.
Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal’s inclusion
Alongside, Archer Shreyas Gopal is a key bowler of the RR team. Alike Archer he is not only taking wickets but also restricting batsmen from scoring. He took 10 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 20. Notwithstanding, he will a vital cog of RR in the playoffs match against KKR at the Eden Gardens. The 24-years-old leg-spinner will be a treat to watch for spectators.