The Rajasthan Royals Recruitment Team’s hugely successful 2018 IPL Auction continued with the snatching of 26 year old Rahul Tripathi for 3.4 crores. He is quite a capture – it will be no surprise if he follows the well trodden route of many other Royals players and ends up playing for his country after showcasing his talents for Rajasthan in the 2018 IPL. In the 2017 tournament, the Maharashtra-born right-handed batsman seemed to come from nowhere when he performed spectacularly for Rising Pune Supergiants. It had been a long journey for the player. Rahul’s father had featured for the junior Uttar Pradesh team and also played in university cricket, so no doubt cultivated his son’s game from an early age, but when Rahul moved to Pune, he got the opportunity to hone his skills at one of the oldest and most prestigious academies in India – the Deccan Gymkhana.
Tripathi’s first-class debut came for Maharashtra during the 2012-13 Ranji season, but the rookie made a quiet start to his career. 26 first-class games yielded only three hundreds, while his 50-over and 20-over records weren’t head turning either, so it was a surprise that Rising Supergiants bought him at his base price of 10 lakh’s during the 2017 IPL auctions. That moment seemed to invigorate the youngster. Days after being bought, he put together a string of big scores for Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. During his debut IPL campaign, Rahul was promoted to bat at the top of the order by the Pune team management and his audacious stroke play impressed pundits and fans alike. He was extremely consistent – in eight innings, he went past 30 seven times. Tripathi’s breakthrough innings was a 52-ball 93 against KKR which delighted cricket fans all over the world with its ferocity and ingenious stroke play. Don’t be surprised if his maiden IPL century comes in Royals’ colours this year – because this youngster has the potential to go all the way!