Rajasthan Royals will be looking for their second Indian Premier League trophy when they face Gujarat Titans in the 2022 final at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahemdabad on Sunday (29 May).
The Rajasthan-based franchise has only tasted victory once, as Shane Warne led the team to victory in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008. Since then, RR has only made three play-offs (2013, 2015 and 2018) before reaching reached the last hurdle of the 2022 season.
After finishing seventh in the eight-team tournament last year, Rajasthan Royals revamped their squad by retaining only Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal for the mega auction.
The Royals had a busy auction as they added Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer and Prasidh Krishna, among others. In the support staff, they brought in Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga to brainstorm and prepare the strategies with his compatriot Kumar Sangakkara.
The journey started with two straight wins before the ride got bumpy. Let’s see how the Royals fared in the 15th edition of the IPL.
HAPPY AS LARRY
The Royals defeated SunRisers Hyderabad and the five-time champions Mumbai Indians respectively in their first two games. The first was a team effort, with the entire top league contributing and Chahal, Boult and Prasidh among the wickets. The second game was a one-man show, as Buttler registered a century against MI.
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ROLLER COASTER RIDE
After two wins, RR faced a defeat to RCB. However, Rajasthan recovered quickly as they had a three-match winning streak towards the end of the first half of the tournament. With two losses and six wins, RR maintained its position in the top four. During that period, Chahal was also at his best when he took a five-wicket-haul against KKR and Buttler scored two more centuries in IPL 2022. RR also fell victim to the controversial no-ball match against Delhi Capitals, which they won nonetheless.
RISING FROM Q1 defeat
The up and down pattern continued for Rajasthan at the business end of the tournament. In the battle between second and third best against Lucknow Super Giants, RR came out on top as they not only beat Lucknow but pushed them to Qualifier 2. Rajasthan reached Qualifier 1 where they were defeated by the table toppers Gujarat Titans.
Rajasthan got another chance to make it to the final via the Qualifier 2 way, where they convincingly beat RCB. Buttler came to Ahemdabad with a match-winning century and took RR to their second ever final where they will face Gujarat.
Most Runs- Jos Buttler (824 runs)
Most Wickets- Wanindu Hasaranga (RCB, 26 wickets); Yuzvendra Chahal (RR, 26 wickets)