Rajasthan Royals (RR) had their best IPL season ever. The Royals lost the final to the Gujarat Titans last year after finishing in the top two.
Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Shimron Hetmyer, and Yuzvendra Chahal, all on hefty contracts, helped RR go far last year. Buttler and Chahal, who won Orange and Purple Caps, proved their worth.
However, other names on the roster have literally underperformed. Three IPL 2023 RR players are overpaid.
1. Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini is fast. The fast bowler has lost his way in recent years, especially in the shortest format.
At the IPL 2022 mega-auction, RR signed Saini for 2.6 crore, more than other local fast bowlers with similar experience. In two games last year, he took three wickets at 12.
The bowler has nine wickets from 17 outings in his last three IPL seasons.
Saini can bowl well, but he’s 30 and hasn’t developed as RR would have liked. He’s not worth 2.6 crore right now.
2 Trent Boult
Mumbai Indians sorely sought Trent Boult in the IPL 2022 mega-auction. They offered 7.75 crore for the Kiwi fast bowler, but RR won with an 8 crore price.
Last year, Boult took 16 wickets in 16 matches for the Royals at 7.94. Is 33-year-old left-armer worth so much? He just bowls powerplay overs and lacks speed.
Recent performances show that Boult is nearing the end of his top-level career. The Royals should shed his large contract shortly.
3. Devdutt Padikkal
At the IPL 2022 mega-auction, RR bought Devdutt Padikkal for 7.75 crore, raising eyebrows. The inaugural IPL champions featured Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler at the top of the order, but the Karnataka-born southpaw didn’t appear to fit.
RR’s middle-order experiment with Padikkal failed. Despite a few promising innings, he finished the season with a 22.12 average and 122.88 strike rate.
The left-hander struggled against spin in the middle overs, showing his restricted range.
Padikkal has health difficulties and his game isn’t matured enough to command such a high price. He has the potential to be a terrific T20 batter, but this Royals team doesn’t fit him currently.