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IPL 2019 | Season Review: Very Little Dynamism Sees Rajasthan Flounder

Karthik Lakshmanan |May 7, 2019, 4:18 PM IST
IPL 2019 | Season Review: Very Little Dynamism Sees Rajasthan Flounder

Position in table

Played 14, Won 5, Lost 8, No Result 1

What worked

Steve Smith as captain.

Under Smith, Royals won three out of five matches with one match ending without a result. The Australian took over from Ajinkya Rahane in the ninth game, and the move seemed to bring about a spark in the side. In the first eight games under Rahane, Royals were going nowhere and won just two matches.

Smith took charge before their home game against Mumbai Indians, and lifted their hopes leading them to three wins and also contributing with the bat with two half-centuries. However, as things ended, it was a case of too little too late for the Royals.

What didn't work

Too many slow coaches at the top, lack of firepower at the bottom.

As they often do, Royals took a while to get their combination right. With Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and Steve Smith in the top four, their batting was always going to lack firepower. Each of them ended with more than 300 runs in the season, Samson and Rahane's numbers boosted by a century each and Smith having a resurgence in the second half. Smith's overall strike rate was just 116, which wasn't enough in the middle overs in the initial half. Samson had a strike-rate above 148, but had no 50+ score apart from the century against Sunrisers Hyderabad early in the season. Rahul Tripathi, who predominantly batted in the middle order, struck at under 120 in the seven innings he played. Rahane had a decent season with 393 runs - the most in the team - but there were just too many similar type batsmen.

Royals were also hurt by the poor form of Ben Stokes and Ashton Turner. Stokes managed just 123 runs in nine innings striking at under 125. Turner made three runs from four innings, all three runs coming in one game. Yes, he made three consecutive ducks!

Best performers

Batsman

Jos Buttler | Runs 311 | Matches 8 | Average 38.87 | Strike rate 151.70 | Fifties 3

Buttler didn't set the tournament on fire like he did last season, but that's only relatively to what he has done in the past and his reputation. He still gave Royals quick starts before he left for the birth of his child.

Even a middling season for Buttler was enough to stand apart from his peers, and Royals will be hoping he stays available for the entire season next year.

Bowler

Shreyas Gopal

Shreyas Gopal | Wickets 20 | Matches 14 | Economy 7.22

Without doubt, Gopal was the find of the season for Royals. The legspinner bamboozled batsmen consistently this season, ending as Royals' highest wicket-taker. He even picked up a hat-trick in the five-over game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Apart from his leg-spin, Gopal also impressed with a few timely cameos with the bat and picked some superb catches on the field.

Jofra Archer, who picked 11 wickets from 11 matches at an economy of 6.76, was terrific as well, often bowling in the death.

Disappointments

Ben Stokes

Stokes scored just 123 runs, failing consistently in the middle order. With the ball, he picked only six wickets from six innings at an economy in excess of 11. Overall, it was a forgettable season for the England all-rounder, which made life difficult for Royals.

Jaydev Unadkat, who had an economy of 10.66 from 11 matches, was a major let down too.

Promises

Riyan Parag

The 17-year-old from Assam scored a couple of match-winning 40s and finished his season with a half-century against Delhi Capitals. He made 160 runs from five innings at a strike rate above 126, his composure in tough situations impressing many. He's one to watch out for in the future seasons.

Areas to improve for next season

Coach Paddy Upton said this is the strongest Rajasthan squad he has seen. That's not far from the truth, as they do have plenty of quality on paper in every department. Their team would be bolstered by more power in the middle order; it should happen either through some buys in the auction, or by Stokes returning to form.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
NZ
6 5 0 1 11 +1.30
2
AUS
6 5 1 0 10 +0.84
3
IND
5 4 0 1 9 +0.80
4
ENG
6 4 2 0 8 +1.45
5
BAN
7 3 3 1 7 -0.13
6
SL
6 2 2 2 6 -1.11
7
PAK
6 2 3 1 5 -1.26
8
WI
6 1 4 1 3 +0.19
9
SA
7 1 5 1 3 -0.32
10
AFG
7 0 7 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more