Rajasthan Royals, who have a lot of quality in their ranks, retained England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes for the upcoming 12th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). With the IPL is just three days away, the England duo joined the team in Jaipur on Wednesday. Rajasthan Royals, who won the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne, returned to the fold last year after a two-year suspension over a corruption scandal. The Royals went on to finish fourth in the league standings in 2018 before being bundled out by Kolkata Knight Riders in the playoffs.
Jos Buttler, one of the most explosive batsmen in world cricket at the moment, started off as a middle-order batsman in 2018 but was promoted to the top after some games. As an opener, Buttler scored five consecutive half-centuries for the Royals, tying the IPL record of Virender Sehwag.
Buttler, 28, scored 548 runs in last year's tournament, helping to earn a recall to the England Test team.
Steve Smith, who missed IPL 2018 due to the one-year ban imposed by Cricket Australia, said that Buttler is one of the "most destructive batters" in international cricket.
"Playing alongside Buttler will be great, batting with him makes things easier for me. He's an exciting player and one of the most destructive batters around the world," Smith said.
Buttler, who has been at his destructive best of late, brought up his highest One-day international (ODI) score of 150 off just 77 balls with 12 sixes and 13 fours against the Windies.
Buttler hit the most sixes in an ODI innings for England with 12 as he went from 51 to his hundred in 15 balls.
Rajasthan will be playing their Indian Premier League opener against Kings XI Punjab at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on March 25.