Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra said that Rajasthan Royals will need an overseason batsman after letting Steve Smith go ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. The Royals have released as many as eight players including Steve Smith. Their squad strength is 17 after the end of the retention window. Chopra said that in their quest to look for a specialist overseas middle-order batsmen, the Royals would look beyond someone like Glenn Maxwell who was released by Kings XI Punjab in the retention window.
Aakash Chopra expressed his opinion on the current squad and the sort of players the franchise needs to strengthen its roster ahead of the 14th edition of the league.
Aakash Chopra on Glenn Maxwell
“They need overseas batsmen because they have Buttler, Stokes and Miller. They have three but quite a few times they might have to play all three because they don’t have Smith. So, they would need at least one batsman as backup and you might want to play someone ahead of Miller,” Chopra said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
“So their batting will remain a little overseas dominated. I doubt they will look towards Glenn Maxwell. This is not the team who will look towards Maxwell,” added Chopra.
He picked Dawid Malan as the specialist middle-order batsman that the franchise should target in the auction. Malan is currently the top-ranked T20I batsman in the world in international cricket. He is also plying his trade currently in the BBL for Hobart Hurricanes.
“It is certain that they will not take Smith back because why would you leave him otherwise. They could go for Dawidalso Malan, left-handed top-order batsman. They could look towards Roy or Finch. So, they might want to take one out of these three,” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra further said that the Royals ideally would need an Indian option too in the middle-order and that Ajinkya Rahane would have donned the role to perfection. He said that releasing Rahane was a mistake from the franchise.
Why did you let Rahane go? You should have kept him, he would been of use to you now,” concluded Chopra.