Rajasthan Royals (RR) is the New Zealand equivalent in the IPL. They punch well above their weight each season. RR defied all odds to win the Inaugural IPL title in 2008. They were called the money-ball team mainly owing to the absence of any superstars in the squad. But RR to their credit have done exceedingly well considering the resources they have at their disposal. RR in fact has given many talents to the national team in the early IPL years. 5 Players Rajasthan Royals should have never released in IPL.
StumpsandBails looks at 5 players whom RR should have never released:
#5 Deepak Chahar
5 Players Rajasthan Royals should have never released in IPL. Deepak Chahar generated a lot of buzz when he picked 8-10 in a Ranji Trophy against Hyderabad in 2010. The Rajasthani pacer was fast-tracked into the RR set up in 2012. But sadly he never got a game for the franchise. RR failed in spotting the potential and let him go. CSK picked Chahar in 2018 and since then he has been their bowling mainstay. Imagine Chahar bowling for RR, he would have been the missing Indian link in their pace bowling department.
#4 Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan was one of those players who excelled in the IPL big time. He held the record for scoring the fastest fifty (15 balls) for 4 years. Pathan’s all-round match-winning performance in the 2008 IPL finals is a tournament highlight. He even scored a 37-ball 100 in 2010 against a rampaging MI attack featuring Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan at their peak. But strangely RR let go of Pathan in 2011 mega auctions and KKR pouched him with no further invitation.
#3 Chris Morris
It might come as a surprise for many to see Chris Morris on this list. Since RR spent a bomb (INR 16.25 crores) in IPL 2021 to acquire Morris. But what we are trying to state is RR should have never let go of Morris in the first place. He played a stellar role in their 2015 campaign picking up 13 wickets at 23.92. His strike rate of 165.21 was impressive too. Morris could have been the ideal foil for RR. To think of a team having their 4 overseas players comprising Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, and Chris Morris is in itself a scary proposition.
#2 Shane Watson
Shane Watson was the one constant for RR since their inaugural season (2008) right up till 2015. Watson remains RR’s only player to have won the MVP twice (2008 & 2013). But RR did not show faith in Watson in 2018. CSK picked him instead and Watson went on to have a stellar couple of seasons with CSK. He notched up 555 runs at an average of 43 and a strike rate of almost 150. Watson could have been an ideal captaincy candidate for them in the 2018-19 season.
#1 Ravindra Jadeja
Shane Warne, captain of RR for the first three seasons had called Ravindra Jadeja a rockstar. In the 2008 season itself, Jadeja showcased his vast potential. He was the one who was earmarked for the future. RR were way too happy having him in the squad. But Jadeja wasn’t happy with the monetary aspect of things at RR and was negotiating with other franchises. This didn’t go down well with the RR management. Jadeja was barred from playing the IPL in 2010. RR released him ahead of 2011 auctions. In hindsight not having a popular Indian player until the emergence of Sanju Samson did hamper RR quite a bit. They could have made amends with Jadeja but CSK were not letting go of Jadeja anywhere.