Rajasthan Royals: Team Analysis
Rajasthan Royals is a franchise cricket team based in Jaipur that plays in the IPL. The team is led and coached by Shane Warne. The team’s mascot is a lion named Moochu Singh. The team anthem, ‘Halla Bol’ is sung by Ila Arun. The promotional video that aired on national networks before and during the first edition of the IPL was directed by Indrajit Nattoji of Blink Pictures. Leicestershire spinner Jeremy Snape signed on with the Rajasthan Royals as their high-performance coach and team psychologist. They became the champions of the inaugural IPL tournament in 2008.
The Rajasthan Royals franchise is owned by Emerging Media group and is Chaired by Manoj Badale. Other investors include Lachlan Murdoch, Aditya S Chellaram and Suresh Chellaram. The Group acquired the franchise for $67 million. Incidentally, this was the least expensive franchise in the Indian Premier League and probably the least fancied team in the league at the beginning of the tournament. Bollywood actress and Celebrity Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra paid approximately US $15.4 million for a 11.7% stake before the start of IPL 2 in early 2009, therefore valuing the team at $130 million. It made a pre-tax profit of $7.5 million in 2009.
At first there were nerves and chubbiness. Then came wild soaring legbreaks, followed by fame and flippers. For a long while there were women, then a bookmaker, then diet pills, then more women – and headlines, always headlines. Now he has come out the other end, his bluff and bluster and mischief and innocence somehow intact. The man who in 2000 was rated among the five greatest cricketers of the 20th century was, in 2006, bowling better than ever.
Major teams: Australia, Hampshire, ICC World XI, Rajasthan Royals, Victoria
An attacking, diminutive opener, Swapnil Asnodkar has been one of Goa’s leading run-getters. The 2007-08 Ranji season was his best – he scored 640 runs at 71.11 with a personal best of 254 not out, against Railways. However, his feats went largely unrecognised, with Goa featuring regularly in the Plate League. He shot to prominence in the IPL, where his fearless style evoked memories of Sri Lanka’s Romesh Kaluwitharana and won the praise of his captain Shane Warne.
Major teams: Goa, Goa Under-19s, India Blue, Rajasthan Royals
Major teams: Central, India Red, India Under-19s, Railways, Rajasthan Royals, Vidarbha
Abhishek Jhunjhunwala displayed his potential with a century on his Under-16 debut for Bengal. He has since developed into a reliable and technically correct No. 3 batsman and an important foil to the stroke-players in Bengal’s middle order.
Major teams: Bengal, ICL India XI, India A, Kolkata Tigers, Rajasthan Royals, Reebok XI
A hard-hitting batsman, he made his county debut in 2000, scoring 66 not out against the touring Zimbabweans. A knee injury in 2001 meant that he played only a small part in Yorkshire’s success in winning the county championship that year, although he did record a maiden first-class hundred against Leicestershire.
Major teams: England Lions, Hampshire, Rajasthan Royals, Yorkshire
Morne Morkel, brother of allrounder Albie, is an out-and-out fast bowler who has the pace and height to trouble the best. Morkel made his first-class debut in 2003-04, and earned promotion to the Nashua Titans in the 2006 domestic season. A certain Allan Donald marked him out as national potential with good words for the lanky fast bowler’s ability to extract bounce and bowl genuinely fast.
Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Easterns, Kent, Rajasthan Royals, Titans, Yorkshire
A capable top-order batsman and wicketkeeper, Ojha made his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2000-01. He has tasted success in the limited-overs format and made his mark in the 2008-09 Challenger Trophy, scoring 96 for India Green. The Rajasthan Royals came calling during the second season of the IPL and he made a mark in his second game, smashing a half-century.
Major teams: Central Zone, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Royals
Few medium-pacers had generated as much hype before bowling a ball in first-class, let alone international cricket as Munaf Musa Patel, the young boy from the little town of Ikhar in Bahruch, Gujarat did in early 2003. Kiran More, now chairman of selectors, had seen him bowl in the nets and sent him straight to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai to train under TA Sekhar and Dennis Lillee.
Major teams: India, Asia XI, Gujarat, India Green, Indian Board President’s XI, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan Royals
Yusuf Pathan first made his mark as a hard-hitting batsman and offspinner for the Baroda Under-16 team in the Vijay Merchant Trophy in 1999-2000. His impressive showings saw him quickly climb the rungs to the Baroda U-19 and the West Zone U-19 sides. He made his Ranji debut against Saurashtra in 2001-02, but it wasn’t until the 2004-05 season, by when younger brother Irfan Pathan was donning the national colours, that he established himself as a regular in the Baroda squad.
Major teams: India, Baroda, India Green, Rajasthan Royals
Major teams: Maharashtra, Rajasthan Royals
Shaun Tait’s shoulder-strong action slung him on to the 2005 Ashes tour, where he played two Tests ahead of his more celebrated South Australia team-mate Jason Gillespie, but it soon disrupted his quest for further international impact. With a muscular and unrefined method that seems to invite pain, Tait returned from England buoyed by his promotion only to hurt himself in a grade match and the subsequent shoulder surgery forced him out for the rest of the year.
Major teams: Australia, Durham, Rajasthan Royals, South Australia
He made his first-class debut only in the 2002-03 season, and his nippy medium-pace also earned him a slot at the ICC under-19 World Cup in early 2002, where he took nine wickets in seven games. Noticed as one of India’s promising youngsters, he won the Border-Gavaskar Scholarship to train for five weeks at the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy in Australia.
Major teams: Air India, Gujarat, India Red, Rajasthan Royals, Reebok XI
Major teams: Chandigarh Lions, Punjab, Rajasthan Royals
Adam Voges is most famous for his maiden one-day century in 2004-05, a 62-ball effort which was then the fastest in the country’s domestic history. Not only did he break a record, he also clattered an ING sign with one of seven sixes. Voges collected many plaudits for the innings and a $50,000 bonus for superb aim.
Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Nottinghamshire, Rajasthan Royals, Western Australia
He has made a habit of producing big performances in vital games, including a Man of the Match performance in the 1998 NatWest trophy semi-final when he took 3 for 28 and scored 73. He also featured in Hampshire’s victorious C&G campaign in 2005. He scored the first century at the Rose Bowl, against Worcestershire in 2001, and also took the first hat-trick recorded in Twenty20 cricket, amongst his 5 for 14 against Sussex at Hove in 2004.
Major teams: England, England Lions, Hampshire, Otago, Rajasthan Royals
When people look back at Graeme Smith’s career, what will likely come to mind is his role in turning South Africa from perennial chokers into a world-beating unit. For too long had South Africa been weighed down by expectation, an inability to complete wins that really mattered – that record-breaking 434 chase in Johannesburg seemed but a rare blip on the radar, despite Smith’s comments just afterwards – and the seemingly inherent failure to truly bully top-class opposition, especially Australia.
Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Cape Cobras, Gauteng, Hampshire Cricket Board, ICC World XI, Rajasthan Royals, Somerset, Western Province