On Thursday, first ever Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) announced the list of players they retained beside telling those who were released ahead of the auction for the 2019 edition of the tournament. The auctions are scheduled to take place in mid-December in Goa. Of the players, the Royals have released is fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat, the left-arm fast bowler who was bought in the last auction for a whopping ₹11.5 crore.
The Saurashtra bowler could manage just 11 wickets in 15 matches in the edition at an average of 44.18, which is in complete contrast with his show for the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2017 edition of the tournament in which he took 24 wickets in 12 games at an impressive average of 13.41. Unadkat is one of the six players the franchise released this year.
Rajasthan Royals gave an explanation and it indirectly suggested so. As quoted in Times of India, RR’s head of cricket Zubin Bharucha said, “When reviewing Jaydev’s contributions to the team, we felt there was too much pressure on him to deliver vis-a-vis his auction price and hence we thought it would be better to release him.”
Among those retained by the franchise are members of the core group and it includes the likes of former Australian skipper Steve Smith, Ben Stokes (their most expensive buy last year before Unadkat), last season’s skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Sanju Samson, and Krinappa Gowtham. According to Bharucha, the team didn’t want to disturb its balance and hence retained players whose performance in the previous season was impressive.
Royals returned to the IPL in 2018 after serving a two-year ban, along with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), but could not go beyond the eliminator where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Under the leadership of Rahane and in the absence of Smith who was banned for a year for involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year.