Five reasons why Rajasthan Royals won't win IPL 2019
Rajasthan Royals have not hit the strides in Indian Premier League (IPL) since their title win in the inaugural season in 2008. This time, as well, the Royals would face a stiff task. Even though, Royals will have Steve Smith this time around, but there are facing multiple issues. We decode why Royals won't win the IPL 2019 title.
BCCI had banned Smith last season. Cricket Australia had imposed a 12-month ban on Smith in relation to a ball-tampering scandal against South Africa. His ban will end in March end. With IPL 12 starting on March 23, Smith might not feature in the first couple of games. He could also leave for World Cup preparations in April end, if named in the squad.
Ajinkya Rahane has not lived up to expectations in the last two IPL seasons. He led Royals in 2018 after Smith was banned. Rahane managed to score just 370 runs in 15 matches for Royals, which came back to IPL after a two-year suspension. Prior to that, he scored 382 runs for Pune in 2017. He hasn't been able to deliver with the bat.
Another significant factor is that the English duo of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes will leave for World Cup duties in April end. The two players will miss the final leg of the 2019 campaign. Buttler is their main player and can steal the thunder in any situation. He scored 548 runs in IPL 11. He will be a huge miss in crucial matches.
RR lack the teeth in batting and that could act as a stumbling block. Once Smith, Buttler and Stokes depart, the side could face a tricky test. The pressure will be on the likes of Rahane, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi to deliver. The bench strength sees middle order batsmen Liam Livingstone and Ashton Turner in the mix. Both players haven't proven their worth.
Another issue for the side is the all-round options. Stuart Binny has passed his prime and the only hope for Royals is Krishnappa Gowtham. Can he turn out to be the finisher the side needs? Stokes failed to get going last season and another poor term could hurt the franchise badly. The spin department lacks the match-winning attributes with no solid back-up options.