Since the start of the IPL, Royals have opted for the “moneyball” strategy while buying players in the auctions. Over the years, they have brought many new and inexperienced players into limelight by giving them proper exposure on the big stage. Moreover, they have nurtured quite a lot of young and talented cricketers in the past, helping them to reach their full potential and gain stardom in the domestic or international arena.
Ravindra Jadeja who played the first IPL for Rajasthan is now a superstar in the making, Yusuf Pathan started his career with the Royals and gained the reputation of being one big hitter, and Sanju Samson, the young Indian prodigy who has matured a lot as a batsman in the last few seasons will be a vital cog in their side this year.
For those who are not movie geeks, Moneyball is the story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane who took the aforementioned baseball team to the Major League Baseball play-offs for a couple of years in a row, choosing valuable but significantly low-cost players – all with a budget which was around one third of the top team’s budgets.
Before being tagged as the “moneyball” side, they can perhaps be called as the first real fairy tale side of the league, winning the first edition of the IPL sans being names and with the lowest brand value among all the teams in the tournament. However, they haven’t tasted much success after that . Following their inaugural season title win, they finished 6th, 7th, 6th and 7th again over the next four seasons. Last year, they finished 5th.
But, by investing wisely and smartly, they have built a squad that is expected to start achieving bigger feats. For starters, they have four players who appeared in the World Cup final this year. Steven Smith, James Faulkner, Tim Southee and the experienced Shane Watson have all been in decent form over the past month and can deliver match winning performances whenever required.
Paddy Upton, head coach of Rajasthan Royals, has credited “thorough planning by the smartest moneyball operators” as the key factor for the franchise’s ability to save money during the IPL auction but at the same time get a balanced squad as well. He appreciated the effort of the support staff including the director of cricket Zubin Bharucha and team analyst Panish Shetty.
Royals’ biggest signing this year was the South African pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Morris, who had an impressive first season in the IPL, playing for Chennai Super Kings in 2013. Morris was sidelined last season due to an injury but once he was available for IPL 2015, he became a prime target for the Royals. They scooped him up for a reasonable 1.4 crores, which was a good bargain considering the quality of the player.
In the spin department, they have signed Dinesh Salunkhe and Pardeep Sahu who will act as back up spinners for Pravin Tambe and Rahul Tewatia. 43 years old Tambe, a club veteran, will lead their spin attack who was handpicked by the Royals a couple of years ago. This again shows their ability to scout talent and harness it in the best possible manner.
Edited By : Akanksha Agarwal