RR come into the 2021 IPL having made a number of bold moves. They released their captain from last year Steve Smith, and handed the reins of the team to 26-year-old Sanju Samson.
RR pulled off the most expensive purchase in the history of the IPL auction Chris Morris, and acquired all-rounder Shivam Dube as well as former players Liam Livingstone and Akash Singh. They also signed Mustafizur Rahman and Indian talents Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa and Kuldip Yadav.
This year’s IPL is still months away, but we attempt to predict what RR’s ideal playing XI will look like.
RR’s squad for IPL 2021: Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Andrew Tye, Chris Morris, Shivam Dube, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, K C Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav and Akash Singh
After Ben Stokes joined the RR squad during IPL 2020, the opening combination didn’t have a settled look to it. The team management opted to use Stokes at the top of the order, with either Steve Smith or Robin Uthappa partnering him. Both Smith and Uthappa are now not part of the squad, making this decision easier for RR.
Jos Buttler made an impact batting in the middle order in a few games, but there’s no denying that his best position is as an opener. He should be partnered by young Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was unable to make an impact in his debut IPL campaign. Buttler is expected to don the gloves, allowing Samson to focus on his batting and captaincy.
This left-right combination seems to be the perfect blend of youth and experience, and RR will do well to give these players a good run of games.