Rajasthan Royals made to the qualifiers of IPL 2018 with nearly the same XI that played this year except for Riyaan Parag and Steve Smith. However, the same side had a start-stop campaign in IPL 2019. Finally, RR failed to make it to playoffs. Here are the positives and negatives for RR ins IPL 2019.
Negative: Rahane’s Leadership struggles
Rahan isn’t a shrewd captain to lead T20 sides, where the pro-active approach is required. His laid back approach hurt the team in the field, in spite of successful seasons for Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer. The team always end up giving 15-20 runs more than they would have liked. Instead, Smith led with right execution strategies and created the qualification chances, but for the failures of early games.
Negative: Form of Stokes and Gowtham
Ben Stokes brings the right balance to any team he plays with. RR was expecting the same from him during their IPL 2019 campaign. He failed to register a single match-winning performance. We can say that RR paid the price of his form in eventually missing out by a single point.
So, was the case of K. Gowtham. The batsman with the highest strike rate in IPL 2018 – 196.87, failed to even reach the 100 this time. His crucial knocks at the death were missing, impacted the team as much as by Stokes’ failure.
Positive: Jos Buttle and Riyaan Parag
The 17-year-old Riyaan Parag played sensational cricket, to say the least. Member of India U-19 team, he showed a maturity and calmness of senior player and added some important runs.
Jos Buttler continued from where he left off in IPL 2018. Gave aggressive starts to the team during first six overs, and played match-defining innings. RR relied heavily on him to provide good starts.
Positive: Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer
Shreyas Gopal may not be a known figure at international level but a consistent performer in India’s domestic circuit. In IPL 2019, he claimed 20 wickets – including a double of Kohli and De Villiers and a hat-trick – with the economy of 7.22. He is being touted to give Chahal a run for the money for his place in Indian squad after the world cup.
If you look at the above points, positives are of individual brilliance more than the collective effort. Even though positive points balanced the negatives, it was Rahane’s leadership and under-utilization of some inf-form players costed Rajasthan Royals a place in IPL 2019 qualifier.