The IPL 2019 is already creating hype all around, and so are the eight teams.
Among the eight teams, the champions of the inaugural edition in 2008, Rajasthan Royals could be a side which could spin out a surprise this season.
In order to do that, the players will need to deliver the goods through-out the season. Here we analyze their top five players.
Things do start with the captain. Being an opener, all eyes would be on Ajinkya Rahane as he aims to lead Royals to their second title.
While Rahane has not been in the radar of the national selectors, he does have a lot to prove to his critics.
Meanwhile, a fine performance in IPL could put him in contention for India's number four spot.
The return of former Australian skipper, Steve Smith, is certainly one of the most talked points of IPL 2019.
Having put the ball-tampering scandal behind, Smith would be looking to give a fresh start to his career.
Although not the captain of the side, he would be aiming to play freely and find his form back to be considered for Australia's World Cup campaign.
Continuing with Rajasthan's overseas talent, the biggest in their arsenal is English all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Stokes is undoubtedly one of the best finishers in the world.
Although he hasn't played much T20Is since IPL 2018, he has certainly been a force to reckon with in the ODIs.
Given his recent performance, it would come as no surprise if Stokes dominates the entire tournament.
In Rajasthan's kitty, they have another Englishman in the form of wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler.
Buttler has been in lethal form of late, having scored 191 runs from just five T20Is for England, at a fine average of 38.20 and a strike rate of 164.65, while his top score is 69.
Therefore, there is no writing him out of the IPL.
Among the pacers, Indian medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat has faded out of Team India contention.
While he is nowhere in consideration for the World Cup, he last played a T20I for India in March 2018.
Nonetheless, this could be his chance to shine once again and, at least, alert the national selectors for upcoming future endeavors.
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