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IPL 2022: Rajasthan Royals emerge as formidable force; Buttler, Chahal exceptional

Rajasthan Royals top in many departments this TATA IPL 2022.

TATA IPL 2022_ Rajasthan Royals have Orange Cap, Purple cap, MVP, Highest Score, Best Bowling figures, Most Sixes and fours _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Rajasthan Royals have dominated IPL 2022 with bat and ball (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

The 15th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2022 has seen the inaugural champions of the tournament, Rajasthan Royals (RR), turning the clock back with a superlative performance so far.

Even after losing two of their main overseas players, first Ben Stokes pulled out of the competition to keep his focus on red ball cricket while Jofra Archer is missing the tournament due to sustaining an injury.

Let’s take a brief look at how Rajasthan Royals have performed in the season so far.

Rajasthan Royals have been dominant this season

RR are the top team in the points table at the halfway stage in the championship. They kicked off their campaign brightly with a huge win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 64 runs.

They did lose two games against Gujarat and Bangalore, but their calm demeanor in nervy moments has differentiated them from most other sides.

IPL 2022, DC vs RR, Top Performances_ Jos Buttler scores his third century (116 runs) of IPL 2022, RR beat DC and move to top of points table _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Jos Buttler holds the Orange Cap for his 491 runs from 7 games (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Jos Buttler: The Orange Cap Holder

Jos Buttler, who had been retained by RR at INR 10 crores, has been in red hot form in this season for his franchise. After a decent start in the competition, he registered the first century of the season against Mumbai Indians (MI).

There was hardly a game where runs didn’t come off his blade. After another century against Kolkata, he posted his third hundred of IPL 2022 against Delhi Capitals (DC).

With 491 runs in seven innings at an average of 81.33, he is the current Orange Cap holder while KL Rahul is sitting second in the table with 123 runs less than Buttler.

Yuzvendra Chahal: The Purple Cap Holder

It’s still shocking to think how easily Royals bagged Yuzvendra Chahal at just INR 6.50 crores, with just two bids at the end. The India leg-spinner has been in prime form sitting with the purple cap, picking 18 wickets in seven innings at an average of just 11.33.

He too started the season with a bang, thanks to his 3-22 in just four overs against SRH. In the game against KKR at Brabourne Stadium, Chahal changed the course of the game in the course of one over returning figures of 4-2. He hunted his maiden hat-trick in the IPL to bring RR back in the game which they eventually went on to win.

RR are Toppers of Fair Play Award

Besides playing hard cricket, Rajasthan Royals haven’t broken the spirit of the game, being firmly within the rules and protocols respecting the umpires and others conducting the game.

Teams, sometimes in the heat of the game, tend to forget the importance of moments and not crossing the line, but RR has done that creditably well.

IPL 2022, RR vs KKR, Top Performances_ Yuzvendra Chahal takes hat trick and 5-40 against KKR, RR move to 2nd _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Chahal leading the bowling chart with 18 wickets to his name from 7 games (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Chahal crunched fifer against KKR

Brabourne hasn’t been too helpful for the bowlers specially in the evening with dew setting in. Chahal didn’t have a great game defending 217 against KKR with figures of 1-38 in his first three overs.

When he was called back for his last and 17th over of the game, he sent back Venkatesh Iyer on his very first ball before picking three more wickets to end with 5-40 in his four overs. It was also his maiden 5-fer in the IPL.

Chahal grasped hat-trick to turn the game in Royals’ court

The game was totally in Kolkata Knight Riders’ court with 49 runs required with six wickets in hand, including their unbeaten captain Shreyas Iyer, who was on 85 off just 50 balls, and looked to take the team home.

Chahal after a hard day with the ball, was summoned to perform the rescue act and he just blew away KKR in the space of just six balls. After dismissing Venkatesh Iyer on the first ball, he went on to grab his maiden hat-trick in the form of captain Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Mavi and Pat Cummins to finish with 5-40 to gift RR their fourth win of 2022.

Highest Individual score of IPL 2022

It isn’t required to look far back in the season as Jos Buttler, thanks to his 116-run innings, that consisted of nine boundaries and as many sixes against Delhi Capitals (DC) at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, was the highest individual run-scorer for the Royals.

Best Bowling Figures in IPL 2022

It just shows how important leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been for the Royals throughout the season. The game against KKR, where Chahal grabbed a hat-trick in his last over, ended up with 5-40 in his four overs to have the best bowling figures in this season. With every single day, the decision of not retaining Chahal by RCB is raising questions.

Most Valuable Player of IPL 2022

Undoubtedly, there are two contenders so far for the most valuable player of the franchise and the season itself; Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal, but the former with 491 runs in seven innings including 41 fours and 32 sixes with three catches to boot, may win the race.

Buttler has been fabulous so far in this competition with runs against all teams, putting up a platform for the team to fire up later with the bat. The veteran England player has been excellent on the field too, with some stunning catches.

IPL 2022, RR vs LSG, Top Performances_ Shimron Hetmyer scores half century (59 runs) against Lucknow Super Giants _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Hetmyer has hit 17 sixes this season after Buttler and Russell (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Most Sixes as a Team in IPL 2022

Rajasthan Royals have won this chart too with 67 sixes in the competition so far in just seven games at an average of around 10 sixes per game. Even though the main weapon has been Jos Buttler, the likes of Shimron Hetmyer with 17 sixes and Sanju Samson with 15 sixes have also helped the team in the cause.

Most Sixes, hundreds and fours in IPL 2022: All by Jos Buttler

It has been a tournament worth remembering for Jos Buttler who has been fantastic in this edition in various modes. Besides having the Orange Cap in his hands, Buttler has also hit most sixes (32) as an individual in this season while the second of the list has 17 sixes.

It goes without saying that with three centuries out of four in this season so far, Buttler has the most hundreds of the edition.

In case of boundaries too, Buttler has won the top spot with 41 boundaries in just seven innings so far.

Rajasthan Royals will want that both Jos Buttler and Yuzvendra Chahal keep their exceptional form going till the end of the tournament with more runs and wickets. On the flipside of the coin, other batters and bowlers also have to step up to provide them full support to gift Rajasthan their second IPL trophy on May 29.


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