Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2023: A dismal end to a robust start – WION

Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2023: The one-time winners’ campaign started off on a promising start before ending without a berth in the playoffs.
RR finished IPL 2023 at the fifth spot with seven wins and equal number of defeats. The Royals had four wins from their first five games before fading away. In the second half, they managed only two victories in their last seven outings. 
Easily, Yashasvi Jaiswal was RR’s top performer throughout the season. The likes of Dhruv Jurel, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult did reasonably well — with some performances from Jos Buttler and skipper Sanju Samson — but Jaiswal came to his own and ended IPL 2023 with 625 runs in 14 games, including a ton and five fifties at a strike rate of 163.61. 
Meanwhile, Jurel showed his finishing skills (striking at 172.72 for his 152 runs), Chahal, Ashwin and Boult impressed with 21, 14 and 13 scalps respectively. 
Jos Buttler was one of the biggest disappointments for the Royals. The Englishman finished with 863 runs in IPL 2022, including as many as four hundreds and equal number of half-centuries. This time around, he still managed 392 runs — including four fifties — but fell flat towards the business end of the tournament; leading to his side’s ouster. Buttler ended with five ducks in the season.
Apart from him, Riyan Parag remained below-par, Devdutt Padikkal played some good knocks but wasn’t at his best whereas RR paid the price for underutilising Jason Holder, Obed McCoy, Joe Root, etc. Their use of the new Impact Player Rule also left with a lot to be desired.
The Royals lost the plot in plenty of close encounters. While two of their heavy defeats dented their Net Run Rate (NRR) towards the fag end of the league stage — versus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Gujarat Titans (GT) — they also came second in thrilling games versus Punjab Kings (PBKS), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Mumbai Indians (MI) and RCB. 
In the next season, Sanju Samson & Co. will have to be wary of not losing their nerves or committing silly mistakes when the match goes down to the wire. 
After a win in their last game in the league stage, Sanju Samson told at the post-match presentation, “We have a quality team and it is a little shocking to see where we stand on the table.” At that time, RR had a chance to enter the final four before the fight for the vacant fourth spot became a tussle between MI and RCB, with the former proceeding ahead.
Had RR won at least one more game, their NRR was superior to MI and they could have qualified for the playoffs. Given the balance and quality in their side, Royals were serious title contenders once again but it wasn’t meant to be…
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