IPL 2013: Rajasthan Royals Are the Best Balanced Team at Group Stage

Rajasthan Royals finish their 16 matches of league with a loss but they have bagged the prize of entering the semifinal for the second time. Their win in 2008 is still an example in team management with weak resources. In 2013 Warne has been effectively replaced by Dravid. Watson is still the main cog of their wheel. And there has been many Yusuf Pathan’s now. Their rise has still surprised many, but the records show they are the only team in 2013 that can claim that their good result is the outcome of complete team effort where everyone played a key role effectively.

Key Factor
Watson with 513 runs and 11 wickets is again the best allrounder of the tournament, not only for them but among all the teams. He has also grabbed 6 catches. He is also one of the four centurions of current edition and his 22 sixes are 4th in the current list of highest number of sixes.

Captain – The Difference
Captain Dravid has effectively fit in the shoes of Warne and has gone a notch better as the team has been second best so far in The Fair Play Award points too. His war level planning for every match has made Rajasthan Royals extend their IPL record of maximum wins at home and in the current year along with Mumbai Indians they are the only team to keep their fortress secured in 8 matches. He has led with example winning 2 Player of the matches, first one came in their first victory of the season. His 416 runs in 15 innings of 16 matches is the 9th highest aggregate of the current season. His experiments has given berth to many new stars specially the uncapped Indian players and also James Faulkner.

International Stars
While Watson has been the center of attraction, Faulkner with 26 wickets holds the Purple Cap. His two 5-wicket haul has made him the only bowler in 6 editions of IPL to grab 5-wkt haul or more twice. Recording them in the same season makes it more special. If SH reaches semifinal, he may get his third also as on both occasions the opponents were Sunrisers.

Even Hodge has been a silent killer. He has been underused and mainly being sent in the last few overs. Still mostly he has completed his role successfully scoring 220 runs so far.

Uncapped Players
Rajasthan certainly have extracted the best performances from a group of uncapped Indian players. Sanju Samson has become a star. His Player of the match knock against the starry RCB was very special. Yagnik has also played some good innings, Siddharth Trivedi has been economic as usual. Chandila and Chavan, now a blot, served good as long as they bowled. But the find of the season has been Stuart Binny. His allround performance has almost matched Watson’s performances and has strengthened the team batting in the middle. He has scored 264 runs with 11 sixes and grabbed 5 wickets with an economy of 6.77 in 22 overs.

Indian Stars
Besides Dravid, Rahane has again played a vital role. With 449 runs and 3 Player of the Match Award he has taken Royals to some victories. He has been slow to start with but overall has justified his style of batting as he paces up later when team is in trouble. Sreesanth displayed some excellent spell of bowlings but his involvement in Spot Fixing has taken away all credibility.

Batting Stats
6 batsmen scored more than 150 runs, 3 of them are the top 10 scorers of current edition.
63 sixes with Watson being the overall 4th highest six hitter.
231 boundaries with Watson and Dravid hitting more than 50 each.
1 century and 11 half-centuries. Rahane and Dravid have 4 half-centuries each, while Watson hit the century.
150 is the best strike rate that belongs to Binny. 143 of Watson is the second best rate.
Rajasthan Royals Overall Performance in 2013

Bowling Stats
92 wickets taken, one of the highest by any team, with two new records of 5-wkt haul.
26 wickets by Faulkner gets him Purple Cap. Even Cooper with 17 wickets, Watson with 11 and Trivedi with 10 wickets have got wickets in double digits.

Team Stats
With 185 being their highest total against CSK RR has scored they have crossed 150 runs total on 6 occasions.
They won 7 matches by chasing and 3 by defending.
They lost 4 matches while defending and 2 while chasing.
Only RCB has bowled them out (117), at Bangalore.

Wicketkeeper has been their only questionable decision. After using Yagnik and others they appear to be settled with Sanju Samon. Overall with a balanced combination they are all set to play for the final although they need to clear double hurdle of Eliminator and Qualifier for the finals.

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