The presence of a big-hearted competitor like Smith will prompt others in the Royals team to elevate their level of performance. And Smith can lead by example too. Apart from Smith, they have the force England trio Ben Stokes, world's best all-rounder by some miles, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler. The list will certainly send a chill down the spine of rivals because of the damage-inflicting capabilities. They have some strong Indian names too like Robin Uthappa, who was bought over from Kolkata Knight Riders in this auction, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, a handy all-rounder, Varun Aaron, who has shown marked improvement as a pacer in recent times, Mayank Markande, experienced Jaydev Unadkat etc.
The IPL teams are allowed to field four foreign players in the XI and the slots will be taken up by Smith, Stokes, Buttler and Archer and leaves the Royals with little room to manevour. They have some other promising foreign players like Tom Curran, Oshane Thomas, David Miller and Andrew Tye but they will require some serious flop show from any one of the aforementioned quartet to get a look in. It might even affect the overall balance of the team too.
Steve Smith, Ankit Rajpoot, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Robin Uthappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Oshane Thomas, Anirudha Joshi, Andrew Tye, Tom Curran.
4. Stars to watch
Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Shyreas Gopal.
5. IPL Prediction
Royal have the wherewithal to reach the play-offs considering the talent at their disposal. But can they dish out a team effort to translate the potential to performance? It is the big question and at this point they need a big show to challenge the front-runners and set teams like Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad.