The 13th auction in Indian Premier League history will take place this Thursday as the fate of many international stars will be decided in Kolkata. The auction has produced several surprises in the last few years and the inaugural champions, Rajasthan Royals have been major spenders in the last two seasons.
Earlier, the Jaipur-based franchise was known for investing in lesser-known players and unearthing the talent. The likes of Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Sachin Baby and Ravindra Jadeja are its finest examples. However, in the last two seasons, the fans have seen Rajasthan submitting massive bids for Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jaydev Unadkat and other stars.
Expect RR to continue with the same approach in the upcoming auction as well and here are the 5 players that they may target in IPL Auction 2020:
English opener, Alex Hales has been a top player in the shortest format of the game. The right-handed batsman has played 60 T20I matches for England, aggregating 1,644 runs at an average of 31.02. He is a part of the Top 15 in the ICC T20I rankings for batsmen.
Though he has been instrumental in the T20 format, he has achieved little success in the IPL. Hales has only featured in 6 IPL matches and scored 148 runs at an average of 24.67. His strike rate of 125.42 shows that he has not played freely in the world’s grandest league.
The team management of his previous franchises did not give him much opportunities but since Rajasthan Royals have showed their faith in English players hence, they should sign Alex Hales and give the required chances to develop into an IPL star.
Sheldon Cottrell’s rise has been one of the biggest success stories of IPL 2019. The left-handed pacer has become an integral part of the West Indies team this year. He achieved enormous success at the 2019 World Cup though he did not receive much support from his teammates.
He stands at the 12th position in the ICC T20I rankings for bowlers which showcases the talent he possesses. Cottrell has played 30 T20I matches for his nation and scalped 36 wickets while giving away runs at an economy rate of 8.09 runs per over.
The 30-year-old bowler has never played in the IPL however, he has been a star in the other T20 leagues of the world. He played for Deccan Gladiators in the T10 League while he is also touring India as a part of the Caribbean team. Hence, he would have gathered the experience of playing in subcontinental conditions.
The reason why Rajasthan Royals had won the IPL championship in 2008 was that they had the perfect blend of young talent and experience. The team management needs to reuse that formula in 2020 because only big names cannot inspire the team to a title.
They know how to unearth talents and looking at the loopholes in their squad right now, they desperately need an all-rounder. Pankaj Jaiswal is a young all-rounder who can prove to be a differential for the Jaipur-based franchise.
The 30-year-old all-rounder is a left-handed batsman who can bat in the middle order for Rajasthan. Besides, he can even chip in with a few overs of right-arm off-spin in the middle. Thus, Jaiswal can be a resourceful asset for RR in IPL 2020.
Indian fast bowler, Mohit Sharma had a disappointing outing for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019. The 31-year-old returned to his first IPL franchise after a long break but, he could not live up to the expectations. Mohit seems to have lost his touch because he has even lost his place in the Indian side.
Rajasthan Royals are known for signing Indian discards and utilizing the talents in them. Last year, the fans witnessed how Varun Aaron played a key role for Rajasthan and this season, the RR team management should look to gain the services of Mohit.
The Haryana-based bowler has featured in 85 IPL matches, scalping 91 wickets at an economy rate of 8.41. His numbers have dipped in the last few seasons but the pitch in Jaipur could assist a bowler like him. He can be a like-for-like replacement of Dhawal Kulkarni in the RR squad.
Surprisingly, one of the most promising talents from Rajasthan, Nathu Singh has never played for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He has played for three different IPL teams namely Gujarat Lions, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals but never has he been a part of his home franchise.
Hailing from Jaipur, the 24-year-old possesses immense experience of playing at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. He has featured in 19 T20 games and scalped 30 wickets at a magnificent economy rate of 5.55. His strike rate of 13.40 indicates his wicket-taking abilities.
The IPL franchises have not made the perfect use of his talent but Andrew McDonald can finally launch him as a megastar in IPL 2020. Nathu has the talent and experience to directly walk into RR’s playing XI hence, he should be their priority pick in the auction.
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