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Image Design: Jyoti Desale

Rajasthan Royals (RR) stunned everyone way back in 2008, the inaugural season of Indian Premier League (IPL), when they lifted the trophy. It was a team comprising of underdogs and since then the franchise has stuck to the same formula by keeping a low-key profile by not having many big names in their ranks. More often that not, unknown players have stepped up and performed for the team. Led by Shane Watson, Royals missed out on a place in playoffs last season after losing a keenly fought contest against Mumbai Indians (MI) previous season and thus finished fifth in the points table. Also Read- Full List of Players bought by Rajasthan Royals (RR) Team for IPL 2015: IPL 8 Players Auction.

Team Composition: Royals was the least active side in the IPL auctions this year, and thus the core of the team remains same from last year. RR’s batting boasts of Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Steven Smith and Sanju Samson while all-rounders Stuart Binny and James Faulkner bolster the lower middle-order.

In the bowling department, RR has the services of Dhawal Kulkarni and New Zealander Tim Southee along with 43-year-old leggie Pravin Tambe, who has been a revelation since his debut two years ago. Australian spinner Ben Cutting and Rajat Bhatia also add value to the side with their all-round capabilities. Also Watch- Indian Premier League 2015 Promo: ‘India ka Tyohaar’ Sony SIX Pepsi IPL 8 ad.

Star Player: Team India’s middle-order batsman Rahane is one of the prominent faces in Royals camp. Rahane, who has a decent average and strike-rate in the IPL, is a vital cog in the batting of RR. Rahane brings in a cool and calm approach and can take an aggressive approach too, when the situation demands.

Ajinkya-Rahane

Prediction: A surprise quotient is always associated with Royals and things will be no different this season too. It will be tough to go past the league stage but the Rajasthan outfit have always been written off, right from the first season. They have match-winners in their ranks and can go all the way. Check Out: IPL 2015 Schedule – All Match Fixtures and Complete Time Table of IPL.

Squad-

Indian Players: Stuart Binny, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Vikramjeet Malik, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.

Foreign Players: Tim Southee, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner.