Jos Buttler Departs IPL Early, Leaving Rajasthan Royals Seeking Opening Options

Rajasthan Royals' star batter Jos Buttler leaves the team's camp to prepare for England's T20I series against Pakistan and the T20 World Cup. The Royals must find an alternative opening option to replace Buttler, who scored 359 runs in 11 matches in IPL 2024.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Jos Buttler Departs IPL Early, Leaving Rajasthan Royals Seeking Opening Options

Jos Buttler Departs IPL Early, Leaving Rajasthan Royals Seeking Opening Options

Rajasthan Royals have suffered a blow ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 playoffs as their star batter and England's white-ball captain, Jos Buttler, has left the team's camp to prepare for the upcoming T20I series against Pakistan and the T20 World Cup. Buttler's departure comes at a crucial juncture for the Royals, who are still vying to secure their spot in the playoffs with two league matches remaining.

The Royals confirmed Buttler's exit on social media, sharing a video of him leaving the team hotel. In the video, Buttler says, "Facetime me with the trophy. Yeah." The team bid him farewell, saying, "We'll miss you, Jos bhai!" Buttler played his last match for the Royals against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, May 12, scoring 21 runs off 25 balls.

During his stint in IPL 2024, Buttler amassed 359 runs in 11 matches at an average of 39.89 and a strike rate of 140.78. He smashed two centuries, with his highest score being an unbeaten 107 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders. Buttler's departure will be deeply felt by the Royals, as he has been a prolific batter who has delivered on big occasions. The opening combination of Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal has been a formidable force, terrorizing opposition teams on numerous occasions.

To fill the void left by Buttler, the Royals need to consider alternative opening options. Some possible replacements include Sanju Samson, the RR skipper, who has been in red-hot form, amassing 486 runs so far in IPL 2024. Samson has experience batting up the order and could be promoted to the role of an opener. Another option is Dhruv Jurel, a young wicketkeeper-batter who has played 11 matches so far in IPL 2024, scoring 131 runs. Jurel is a safe opening option, allowing the Royals to maintain their playing XI and include power hitters Shimron Hetmyer and Rovman Powell.

Buttler will lead the England side in their four-match series against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday, May 22 at Headingley. The series will serve as a preparatory assignment for England ahead of the T20 World Cup, which commences on June 2. Several other English players, including Liam Livingstone, Will Jacks, Reece Topley, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Phil Salt, are also leaving the IPL to fulfill their national duties.

The Rajasthan Royals, currently in second position with eight wins and 16 points, will need to find the right combination to secure their place in the playoffs. They will face Punjab Kings on Wednesday, May 15, and Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, May 19. The team's head coach, Kumar Sangakkara, acknowledges that Buttler's absence will be felt but emphasizes the need to find alternative opening options and stick to their plans to turn the tide in their favor.

Key Takeaways

  • Jos Buttler leaves Rajasthan Royals' camp to prepare for England's T20I series against Pakistan and T20 World Cup.
  • Buttler scored 359 runs in 11 IPL 2024 matches at an average of 39.89 and a strike rate of 140.78.
  • Royals need to find alternative opening options, with Sanju Samson and Dhruv Jurel being possible replacements.
  • Buttler will lead England in their four-match T20I series against Pakistan starting May 22.
  • Rajasthan Royals must adapt to Buttler's absence to secure their spot in the IPL 2024 playoffs.