Rajasthan Royals probably had the best start to 13th Indian Premier League season. With two consecutive wins in the opening games, RR looked strong. It soon became a fan favourite. But since those early victories, the team seems to have hit a slump. In their last two games against Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, many flaws surfaced. And they will need to get these problems corrected ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi.
Problem 1: Out-of form Jos Butler
One of the primary reasons for their fall has been the poor form of Jos Buttler. The English batsman replaced Yashaswi Jaiswal for the second match against Kings XI Punjab. However, he is yet to make his presence felt in the season. Butler has scored just 47 runs in three-match. If RR want to return to winning ways they need to get their opener back in-form.
Problem 2: Middle-order woes
Royals would like to arrest the slide before Ben Stokes completes his quarantine and is available from the October 11 game. But until he returns to playing XI, RR need to find a solution to its middle-order woes.
The young Riyan Parag has seemed completely out-of-depth, unlike last year. Skipper Steve Smith might consider dropping Parag, who is not exactly a top of the line off-spinner, and give another much-talked-about youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal a go at the top of the order. Smith might bring himself in the middle to give stability to the line-up.
Problem 3: Lack of quality pace attack
In bowling, as mentor Shane Warne had told PTI, Unadkat probably is still not sure of his role and has not been good either in Powerplay or at the death, which leaves Tom Curran and Jofra Archer with a lot of heavy lifting to do.
Smith may try out the experienced Varun Aaron who has a lot more pace than Unadkat or the young Kartik Tyagi who can bowl at 140 kmph.