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IPL 2024: Decoding Rajasthan Royals’ success story this season

IPL 2024: Decoding Rajasthan Royals’ success story this season. Rajasthan Royals have won 8 out of 9 games played so far. Top reasons from Rajasthan Royals' success in 2024.

Top reasons from Rajasthan Royals' success in IPL 2024. Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Top reasons from Rajasthan Royals' success in IPL 2024 | (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Rajasthan Royals (RR) have been the top team in IPL 2024 so far, taking the first spot on the points table with 16 from nine games till May 1. They have lost just one match and that too on the last ball against Gujarat Titans (GT). Rashid Khan played a special cameo of 24* to steal victory from jaws of defeat against Rajasthan. Nevertheless, Rajasthan have been the team to beat this season. And with 16 points, they have put one foot in the play-offs. They would look to collect as many points possible from remaining games to ensure a top-two finish and get two shots to enter the final.

So, what have Rajasthan been doing right this season?

A collective batting success

Rajasthan have seen batters take responsibility to take the team to a good total or finish off a chase. They have not relied on one batter alone. Earlier, when openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler were unable to build on their starts, a youngster in Riyan Parag scored three fifties in the first five games. Later, Buttler and Jaiswal found their groove and started doing what they know best – cracking tons. Sanju Samson at No 3 has anchored the innings and is the most consistent batter in the squad. He is among the top ten run-getters in IPL 2024 so far, with 385 runs at an average of 77 with four fifties in nine games. 

Shimron Hetmyer donned the finisher’s role, scoring a valuable 10-ball 27* to win the match against Punjab Kings (PBKS). Rovman Powell also scored a match-winning cameo of 26 in 13 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) before Buttler finished off the game. And now, Dhruv Jurel has also come to the party, hitting 34-ball 52* against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). 

Overall, Rajasthan batters have been collectively successful so far. They have not only been posting match-winning totals, but also are batting sensibly while chasing. They have a player dropping anchor during the match while others bat around him and this strategy has worked wonders for them.

IPL 2024, RR vs GT_ Sanju Samson-Riyan Parag added 130 runs for 3rd wicket against GT _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Riyan Parag's form is biggest positive for RR this season (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Sanju Samson’s captaincy

Samson’s captaincy has been a revelation this season. He has been cool and collected, and always in control of the game. When he is batting, he is leading from the front, scoring valuable fifties at No 3 while others are batting around him. His responsible approach towards batting has helped the team while setting a total or chasing a target. During the previous seasons, Samson used to score impact cameos that usually ended up with his dismissal. But this season, Samson is batting deep, putting a high price tag on his wicket, mixing caution with aggression for the benefit of the team.

When he is marshalling his players on the field, he has been clever with his bowling changes, field placements, and handling of the troops. He has given specific roles to specific bowlers who have been doing their job with adept. 

For example, Trent Boult is bowling upfront, and taking wickets in powerplay. Sandeep Sharma and Avesh Khan are brilliant in the death overs not letting the opposition run away with the game. The spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal have been successful in containing the opposition in the middle overs, with the latter picking up wickets as well. This role clarity given to each bowler has allowed Samson and Rajasthan to be in complete control of the game on the flatter wickets.

Besides, Rajasthan has stuck to the core when selecting the playing XI. There has not been any random chopping and changing. Changes have only been forced when a player has been injured. This stability in playing XI has given a sense of security to players to play their natural game and not worry about their places in the line-up.

Besides, this season has seen Samson evolve as a captain who has been brilliant with his overall captaincy. He has not gone overboard with success or dropped shoulders after a solitary loss. His level-headedness has helped Rajasthan stay on the top of the game and the points table.

Consistent disciplined bowling and restricting the run flow 

Rajasthan has conceded 200-plus runs just once in IPL 2024 so far, and that too was chased down, thanks to a masterclass from Buttler. This speaks volume about Rajasthan’s bowling attack. In IPL 2024, high-scoring matches have become the norm, with scores of 200 or more seeming ordinary. Even totals above 250 are no longer considered safe. Despite this trend, Rajasthan has only allowed one opposing team to score over 200 runs.

The clever use of bowling options has helped the team achieve this. Bowlers with specific strengths have bowled those phases when they are at their best. New-ball bowlers like Trent Boult and Nandre Burger have bowled mostly in powerplays and have been successful in making inroads. Sandeep and Avesh, masters in line and length, have bowled at the death to restrict the flow of runs. The Ashwin-Chahal spin duo have bowled well in tandem during the middle-overs to keep the run-rate under check. It is this combination that has helped Rajasthan restrict oppositions to chaseable totals. And hence, Rajasthan have been successful in all their chases in IPL 2024.


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