Kumar Sangakkara believes the Rajasthan Royals management has succeeded in putting together an exciting and strong squad for the 15th edition of the IPL.
“We know we had quite a bit of work to do in the off-season with regards to our team,” said Sangakkara, the director of cricket and head coach at Royals. “I think we managed to identify the key areas which needed our attention and having had a proper process when it comes to selecting players at the auction, we managed to kind of hit the markers that we set for ourselves. I think the franchise has done an amazing job to put this exciting and strong squad together.”
He is excited about the new signings such as R. Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. “We’ve got the two best spinners in the IPL in terms of off-spin and leg-spin in Chahal and Ashwin,” the Lankan batting legend said. “We have (Trent) Boult, Prasidh (Krishna), (Navdeep) Saini, (Nathan) Coulter-Nile and (Obed) McCoy, who make up for a very exciting pace unit supported by of course the retentions of (batters) Yashasvi (Jaiswal), (Sanju) Samson and (Jos) Buttler. We have secured depth in every department, with (James) Neesham, (Daryl) Mitchell and (Rassie) van der Dussen being exciting cricketers.”
Sangakkara said the Royals’ objectives for the new season was to win the trophy and play good cricket. “We have our own performance metrics that we’ll match each individual’s and the team’s performance after each match,” he said.
He also paid homage to Shane Warne, who had led Royals to its only IPL title, in the tournament’s inaugural edition in 2008. “He’s a great loss for the cricket world, a great loss for cricketers around the world, because he was such an approachable guy, who had great knowledge,” Sangakkara said. “He was a very good friend, and I really enjoyed my time with him, the conversations we used to have. I think everyone will miss him.”