20 Feb 2021: Ben Stokes won't bowl much for Rajasthan Royals: Here's why
Kumar Sangakkara, Director of Cricket of Rajasthan Royals, has revealed that star all-rounder Ben Stokes would be used primarily as a batsman in the upcoming IPL season.
Sangakkara said the franchise doesn't want to overuse his bowling skills, which could result in a "burnout".
The former Sri Lankan batsman also reflected upon Rajasthan's other all-rounders, following the completion of the IPL 2021 auction.
Ability: RR want to use Stokes wisely
Speaking on Stokes, Sangakkara said, "We don't want to burn him (Stokes) too much with the ball and use him tactically. In areas where he can make a difference for us."
He added, "So in terms of Stokes coming in and bowling, we have no doubt that he can deliver but we don't want him to burn him all the time."
Credentials: Stokes was one of the centurions in the 2020 edition
Stokes has been a prized possession for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
Arguably the greatest all-rounder in modern-day cricket, Stokes, has scored 920 runs, including two hundreds in the tournament.
One of his two tons (107*) came in the 2020 edition, against Mumbai Indians. This also became his career-best IPL score.
Stokes also owns 28 IPL wickets with a best match haul of 3/15.
Fact: Stokes will also have to fill in for Smith
In recent times, Stokes has been more effective with the bat in all three formats. The batting line-up of RR will rely on Stokes even more with the departure of Steve Smith. The latter was sacked as captain and later released by the Royals.
Signing: RR made the most expensive signing in IPL auction history
In the recently-concluded auction, Rajasthan Royals made a number of notable signings.
The signing of all-rounder Chris Morris for Rs. 16.25 crore grabbed eyeballs as he became the most expensive player in IPL history.
Interestingly, the South African all-rounder had set his base price at Rs. 75 lakh.
That apart, the Royals also bought Indian all-rounder Shivam Dube for Rs. 4.40 crore.
Support: Morris will support Jofra Archer in the bowling segment
Morris is one of the few bowlers who excels at death.
"Morris has a very specific role for us to play in supporting Archer. I think it gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of how we use Archer," said Sangakkara.
"At the death, his numbers are probably number one. He is very much in the top bracket."
Pacers: RR also added Mustafizur and Sakariya in the pace reserves
The Royals also added Bangladesh left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman to their fast-bowling reserves for the season at his base price of Rs. 1 crore.
Notably, he helped Sunrisers Hyderabad win the IPL title in 2016.
His signing was followed by that of another left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya (Rs. 1.2 crore), who has been impressive in the domestic circuit for Saurashtra.