10 Players you might not know played for Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals had a fairytale run in 2008 when they went from underdogs to champions. Over the years, Rajasthan Royals became known for taking ordinary players and turning them into match winners. Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Watson are just a few players who owe much of their success to the Rajasthan Royals.
While there were a few players who were quite memorable with their time at the franchise, there were those select few players who slipped under the radar and may have been forgotten by fans. Hence, we’ve prepared a list of 10 players you might not know played for Rajasthan Royals.
10. Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch made his IPL debut for the Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 edition of the Indian Premier League. At the time, Finch was an unknown Australian batsman who was yet to become this destructive T20 batsman.
He was yet to develop a solid reputation for himself and therefore, he wasn’t given much chances in the playing XI for RR. Since each IPL team could only select four overseas players in their playing XI, Finch spent most of his time warming the bench. He ended up playing just one match for the Royals and scored just 21 runs from 21 balls.
Needless to say, he was dropped the following year. Following his release, he went on to play for Delhi Daredevils for two seasons (2011 and 2012). He played a total of eight matches across both seasons and scored just 102 runs.
Despite his poor form, he was selected to be a part of the Pune Warriors India dugout. This is where he had his breakout year where he scored a total of 456 runs from 14 matches. After the disbandment of PWI in 2013, Finch again found himself in the auction pool.
This time he was purchased by Mumbai Indians. His successful run in the IPL would continue and he would go on to deliver impressive performances for Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions and Kings XI Punjab.
9. Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith is widely regarded as the greatest South African captain of all-time. The South African batsman has had a record-breaking career. However, what many fans fail to realize is that Graeme Smith used to feature in the cash-rich league.
He opened the batting for the Rajasthan Royals in the first season of the IPL. Though he was considered a test player by many cricket pundits, Smith proved himself quite handy at the top of the order and would often get his team off to decent starts.
In his debut season with the franchise, he was consistent with bat accumulating a total of 441 runs in 11 matches at an average of 49 and a strike-rate of 121.82. It seemed like he proved all his doubters wrong.
However, his second season with RR was totally forgettable. He scored just 212 runs in 12 matches. Things didn’t get better for the former South African batsman as his form deteriorated the following year as well. In 2010, he only managed to score 44 runs in two matches before being dropped from the playing XI.
He was released from his contract the following year and he went on to play one season for the Pune Warriors India. A change in dressing rooms didn’t help his form as he was at his worst scoring a total of 42 runs in four matches for PWI.
This was the last time that fans saw him play in the cash-rich league.
8. Morne Morkel
Morne first debuted in the IPL for the Rajasthan Royals in 2009. He only played two matches and went wicketless. Despite this, he was retained for one more season. Again, his performances didn’t improve and he had another wicketless season.
He was released from his contract the following year. After his release, he went on to deliver stellar performances for Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils) and Kolkata Knight Riders. In fact, his best season came in 2012 when he scalped a total of 25 wickets in 16 matches for the Delhi Capitals.
Despite being consistent with the ball, he has failed to find himself an IPL contract since 2016. The South African pacer is one of the best bowlers in the world right now and Rajasthan Royals are probably regretting their decisions of letting him go.
7. Chris Morris
After a successful season with the Chennai Super Kings in 2013, Morris returned to the IPL to play for the Rajasthan Royals in 2015. He was with the franchise for just one season. Morris didn’t contribute much with the bat, but he performed well with the ball picking up 13 wickets in 11 matches.
His performances with the ball didn’t warrant another IPL contract from RR. They were probably looking for an all-rounder who can contribute with bat and ball.
This didn’t stop him from having a breakout season while playing for the Delhi Capitals. This time, he contributed with bat and ball. He is a crucial lower-order batsman for them (Delhi Capitals) who can whack the ball and also picks handy wickets when needed.
6. Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar came into the limelight in 2018, but very few remember him from his days in Rising Pune Supergiants and Rajasthan Royals. Probably because he didn’t play a single game for the Rajasthan Royals despite spending five seasons with them.
After being released from RR, he went on to play for Rising Pune Supergiants for two seasons (2016 and 2017). He played a total of 5 matches for them and picked up just 1 wicket while being very expensive.
It wasn’t until he went on to play for the Chennai Super Kings in 2018 that he gained a lot of notoriety. In his first season with them, he scalped 10 wickets in 12 games and was also quite fruitful with the bat in the lower order. One can only speculate as to why he went unused in RR for five years.
5. Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal took part in the 2008 edition of the IPL when Pakistani players were allowed to be apart of the cash-rich T20 league. In his only IPL season, Akmal scored 128 runs in six matches with one half-century to his name. Given that Pakistani players were banned from participating in the IPL the following year, this was the last we saw of him.
4. Paul Collingwood
Paul Collingwood will always be considered as one of the greatest all-rounders to ever play for England. He was good with the bat and ball. He made his IPL debut for Delhi Capitals in 2009 and spent two seasons with them.
However, he didn’t get to play his first game for the franchise until 2010. He scored a total of 203 runs in eight matches at an average of 40.60. He also scalped 5 wickets. Despite his good performance, Delhi decided against retaining him in 2011.
Paul Collingwood joined the Rajasthan Royals team in 2011 after a successful stint at Delhi Capitals. Despite spending two seasons for the franchise, he failed to play a single game which is quite surprising considering how good of a player he is.
3. Younis Khan
Younis Khan is a legendary Test cricketer, but the same can’t be said about his T20 skills. This was quite evident in his only season with Rajasthan Royals in 2008. He played only one match for his franchise and scored 3 runs.
He was soon dropped from the playing XI. Since Pakistani players were banned the following year, we never saw him feature in the IPL ever again.
2. Darren Lehmann
Darren Lehmann was a complete all-rounder for Australia. He was consistent with both bat and ball. His consistency and experience earned him a spot on the Rajasthan Royals’ roster in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League.
Darren Lehmann played only two games for them and scored just 18 runs. He wasn’t used to bowl either. His poor form saw him dropped from the playing XI thus ending his IPL career as a player. He settled into a coaching role for Australia, Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab post his retirement.
1. Damien Martyn
Damien Martyn made his debut for the Rajasthan Royals in 2010. Fans were excited to see the Aussie batsman as part of the team. However, he wasn’t given many chances and was quite disappointing when he finally got a game.
In only IPL game, he scored a measly 19 runs from 24 balls. His poor scoring rate and form saw him get dropped from the playing XI. This was the last time he played in the cash-rich league and soon retired from all forms of cricket thereafter.