Mon, 29 May 2023

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], April 1 (ANI): Ahead of his side's Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 campaign opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals head coach Kumar Sangakkara said on Saturday that England batter Joe Root has a role to play in the setup and his overall game against spin, pace and abilities as an offspinner is valuable for the side.

Rajasthan Royals, the runners-up of the 2022 season will lock horns against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

"Joe Root is a great player. He is an all-format player. He had a great T20 outing here in India where they lost to West Indies in the final (2016 T20 World Cup) and a great outing in UAE as well (ILT20). He has a role to play for us, be it in the start or specific matches. We value his overall game against spin and pace and the fact that he is a smart offspinner. There are quite a few aspects of his game that will come in handy for us," said Sangakkara in a pre-match press conference.

About the impact player rule, the head coach and former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batter said that it is interesting.

"Being clear as to who do you want as an impact player, when do you want to use, whether he gives you the advantage is the key. We have discussed on it. Hopefully, we will get it right, there are no guarantees. As the tournament goes on, sides will get more used to using the best players for it," said Sangakkara.

Sangakkara said that though the side had a great last season, this is a new season with new players.

"It is about settling down to play good cricket from the start and execute really well on the field," said the coach.

The coach also emphasised on the importance of the side playing well as a unit despite the presence of many match-winners and making it easy for the stars and match-winners to do their job.

In the last year's final, the Royals lost to debutant Gujarat Titans by seven wickets.

Players bought by RR in IPL 2023 auction last year - Jason Holder (INR 5.75 crore), Donovan Ferreira (INR 50 lakh), Kunal Rathore (INR 20 lakh), Adam Zampa (INR 1.5 crore), KM Asif (INR 30 lakh), Murugan Ashwin (INR 20 lakh), Abdul PA (INR 20 lakh), Akash Vashisht (INR 20 lakh), Joe Root (INR 2 crore)Players retained - Sanju Samson (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa. (ANI)

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