Rajasthan Royals took a huge call of trading out Ajinkya Rahane before the start of IPL 2020. Rahane had been the mainstay of the Royals' batting line-up for years and has left a huge void behind him in the RR's set-up.
Moreover, with the departure of Rahane, the team will also need to work on their opening combination. Rahane and Jos Buttler had a fairly successful time batting together in the past two IPL seasons.
The Royals have tried to fill in the gap by buying some interesting names at the auction. Here are the five opening options Rajasthan Royals will have at their disposal in IPL 2020.
#5 Manan Vohra
Once considered to be the future of IPL cricket, Manan Vohra has faded away from the scene rather quickly. After his initial success during his time with Kings XI Punjab, Vohra failed to attain consistency. He was bought by the Rajasthan Royals last season too, but did not get to play a single game in the entire season. Having said that, Vohra has had all his success playing as an opener and will surely be a back-up option for the Royals.
#4 Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa is seen as a direct replacement for Rahane. Like Rahane, Uthappa has years of IPL and domestic cricket experience behind his back. While he has spent most of his time batting in the middle-order in the past few seasons while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, in order to provide stability to the top-order, Uthappa can be used as an opener too.
#3 Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson might have wasted chances to establish himself at the international level, however, he is still a force to reckon with in the IPL. Samson has played some stunning innings in the IPL and the Royals will be hoping for him to do it more consistently in IPL 2020. While he has batted at number 3 in the IPL, Samson has opened the innings for the Men in Blue, perhaps because of his ability to play attacking cricket against pace bowlers. The Royals' think-tank might take a cue from the Indian team management and allow Samson to open the innings.
#2 Yashasvi Jaiswal
A new chapter will be added to Yashasvi Jaiswal's fairytale story when he will turn up for Rajasthan Royals at the IPL. After smashing a stunning double century in the Vijay Hazare trophy and making his Ranji debut for Mumbai, Jaiswal finished as the highest run-getter in the recently-concluded Under-19 World Cup.
The left-handed batsman, who was bought by the Royals at the auction, is considered to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. It won't be a surprise if RR unleash Jaiswal in their very first match.
#1 Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler wasn't an IPL star until he began opening the innings for Rajasthan Royals. In a surprising move by the Royals, Buttler, who was then batting in the middle-order and was going through a rough patch, was asked to open the innings. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and hasn't looked back since then, making the opener's spot his own. The wicket-keeper batsman will have extra responsibility this time around in the absence of Rahane.