Home > Features >

Rajasthan Royals’ IPL 7 Player Retentions: The ‘moneyball’ team retains Shane Watson and promising players

© IANS
(From Left) Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, James Faulkner and Ajinkya Rahane…. the Royals © IANS

By Abhijit Banare

Rajasthan Royals have made lesser known picks into special players season after season. After an impressive run under a fine captain in Rahul Dravid, Rajasthan for the first time looked like a stable combination with Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane being the face of the campaign. The team which used the moneyball concept of tapping unknown players with the right skills have maintained a fine balance by using their all five players retentions to good effect. Watson, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, James Faulkner and Rahane are the players retained and when you place them in an order in the playing XI, you almost get a feeling that there’s a near perfect team in the making.

Why are these players retained and why is it a sensible call?

There are two reasons to it:

a) The above mentioned players were going to be in great demand at the auctions looking at their form

b) All-rounders and promising young legs in-form are worth in gold in the shortest format of the game

In these five players, Rajasthan already had the required resources to build a strong team. It’s not only a perfect mix of various skills but each player brings in his own unique ability and temperament in the game. Watson is the nucleus of aggressiveness, Rahane brings in the calm and composed feel, Faulkner and Binny cement the middle and lower-order of the team while Samson is the youngster who can fit in anywhere according to the needs of the team. This is as close to a perfect retention strategy you could get from the Royals.

Let’s look about the role of each player in detail:

Shane Watson: When you talk of the finest T20 players, Shane Watson is right up there among the best. His calculated slogging can rip apart any bowling attack and at the same time provides a solid bowling option for the captain. Watson can open with Rahane thereby making the perfect combination for opening. Not to forget, in Watson, Rajasthan will be eyeing a captain. And there were already rumours of Watson being named as captain of the team.

Ajinkya Rahane: He has flourished in the Rajasthan set up and there was no doubt that the team will love to have the player who boosted their chances every time their team was batting. Rahane’s ‘caution with aggression’ style of batting provides stability to the batting. In the absence of Rahul Dravid, Rahane is going to be the next Dravid for the Rajasthan team when it comes to managing the team with the bat. If there were any little concerns about form, all of it was dispelled when he showed his solid technique during the Test series against South Africa on tour.

Stuart Binny: Yet again an all-rounder in the news who had already enhanced his reputation in the Rajasthan set-up. In a way, Rajasthan provided the base on which Binny today got selected into the Indian team. By retaining the burly all-rounder, Rajasthan have reaffirmed that he is going to be a certainty in their playing XI and will their key campaigner in the middle-order — a role which he played to perfection in the previous season.

James Faulkner: Faulkner’s exploits with the bat and his abilities with the ball are well-known not only with his performance with for Rajasthan but also with his stint during the One-Day International (ODI) series in India. He is another player who was anyway going to command an exorbitant price if released for the auctions. Rather than wasting their money on using a ‘Right to match’ and splurging more money, Faulkner’s selection doesn’t come as a surprise.

Sanju Samson: An Under-19 player was anyway going to be a mandatory selection. Rajasthan did not have to search for that perfect package from the Under-19s who could contribute handsomely to their success. Samson has been on the radar of every team, especially after the ton in the Under-19 Asia Cup final. Rajasthan’s decision just shuts the door on one of the two interesting picks from the Under-19 level (with the other being Vijay Zol).

Looking at the above players, Rajasthan are no more likely to be the underdogs in the upcoming season. Their decisions in the auction will determined whether they have a team which can instill fear on paper or whether they opt for another gamble to pay off by roping in newbies. Interesting team and interesting times are ahead for Rajasthan.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Yuvraj Singh flays media for twisting statements on future in international cricket

India A beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in CAB S K Acharya Memorial Challenger Trophy final

Pankaj Singh hopes for good season with Rajasthan

KL Rahul aims to emulate AB de Villiers’ style of batting

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Younis Khan 4th Pakistani to score 3 consecutive 100s

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here