With the 2020 edition set to kick off at the end of March, the Royals are hoping they have all the weapons in their armoury to add a second title to their cabinet.
In the IPL 2020 players’ auction recently, the Royals spent their money wisely, especially on the youngsters. India’s Under-19 stars Yashasvi Jaiswal and Kartik Tyagi have been in tremendous form and will add firepower to the Royals’ team, which already comprises stars like Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and newly-signed David Miller and Robin Uthappa.
Uncapped Jaiswal, 17, and Tyagi, 19, were sold to Royals for Rs 2.40 crore and Rs 1.30 crore respectively. The Rajasthan franchise also bought IPL veteran Robin Uthappa, who was part of the KKR set up for six years (2014 to 2019). Uthappa and Jaydev Unadkat were bought for Rs. 3 crore each.
Timesofindia.com caught up with Rajasthan Royals Chief Operating Officer, Jake Lush McCrum who spoke about signing the likes of Uthappa and Jaiswal, Ben Stokes’ World Cup heroics, their title-winning chances this year and more.
Jaydev Unadkat will be playing a the third successive season for Rajasthan Royals. How excited are you to have him back?
We are delighted to have JD back in our squad. He is a talented and experienced Indian left arm seamer who we believe can be a match winner for us this year. He loves playing with Steve Smith as captain and all our coaching staff was extremely keen to get him back in the side.
Buying the experienced Robin Uthappa must have been part of your strategy. How did you plan to get him?
Uthappa was a key target in the auction. He is an experienced Indian batsman who can bat anywhere in the top 6 due to his technical ability and his power. He also enabled us to have one less pure international batsman to strengthen our bowling unit. We actually secured him for bang on our budgeted price.
Yashwasvi Jaiswal has been the find of the season and now he is part of the Royals team. Do you think the left-hander will bolster the Royals top-order which already has stars like Sanju Samson, Steve Samson, David Miller and Jos Buttler?
We wanted to buy Jaiswal last year. He performed incredibly well in our trial, however, he hadn’t played a state match so couldn’t enter the auction. We are delighted to secure him now and believe he is an exceptional talent. He is a quality left-handed batsman who can also bowl leg spin and is so brave with his shot selection. We think he’ll learn an incredible amount from the senior players and also add a lot of value to this franchise.
The youngest ever to hit a double hundred in List A cricket ?? Yashasvi Jaiswal AKA wonder kid, welcome to the Indi… https://t.co/fxv34HzlYf
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) 1576757701000
Yashaswi and Sanju could form an explosive opening pair as a left-right combination. Will you try this combination in the 2020 season?
For this question you’ll have to wait until the season to find out. The great thing is we have so much flexibility in our top 6 and there will be so mainly deadly combinations.
Overall, the Royals look like a balanced side. They were the inaugural edition champions. How do you see the team’s chances this season? Can they do what they did in 2008?
We are extremely happy with the squad we have retained/acquired and want to be competing for the title. We believe we have the coach, captain and team to drive long term success.
Star allrounder Ben Stokes was amazing in the ODI World Cup last year. You must be hoping for the same kind of performance from him in IPL 2020
Stokes was incredible in the World Cup and showed his ability to handle an immense amount of pressure. His all rounder capabilities are so valuable for us and we believe he is going to have a fantastic season for the Royals. The great news is with the IPL finishing by May 24th at the latest, we will have all our English players available if we make the final.
Who will be the Royals’ trump card for the season both in the batting and bowling departments?
We’re actually really happy with our quality and depth in both departments. We now have five Indian quicks, four Indian leg spinners, four international quicks, one offy, one left arm orthodox and one mystery spinner in Riyan (Parag). We’ve never had that sort of flexibility before. We also have an incredibly strong batting line up with a combination of Indian and international talent. We are prepared for all surfaces and can’t wait for the season to begin.