Steve Smith back as Royals’ captain

The Royals haven’t been doing well in the ongoing edition of the IPL and the franchise hopes that the move will help them revive their campaign

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 21.04.19, 2:35 AM
  • Updated 21.04.19, 2:35 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Steve Smith gestures during the IPL cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in Jaipur, on April 7, 2019. (AP Photo)

Steve Smith has once again taken up the captain’s role as he replaced Ajinkya Rahane at the helm of the Rajasthan Royals.

The Royals haven’t been doing well in the ongoing edition of the IPL and the franchise hopes that the move will help them revive their campaign. But the spotlight is obviously on Smith.

Smith has been included in Australia’s World Cup squad after serving a one-year ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. Smith had previously been the Royals captain.

The announcement was made ahead of the Royals’s clash against Mumbai Indians in Jaipur on Saturday.

And captain Smith began on a thumping note leading his team to a five-wicket victory over the Rohit Sharma-led side.

Not only that, Smith top scored for his side with an innings of 59 not out and was also named the Man of the Match.

This was the Royals’s third win in nine matches.

Smith was also named captain before the start of the 2018 edition, but in the wake of the ball-tampering incident, it was decided that Rahane would lead the team in the Australian’s forced absence.

“Rajasthan Royals will be led by the Australian batsman Steven Smith for the upcoming matches of the IPL. Ajinkya Rahane did a fantastic job in leading the team to the play-offs last year, however, the franchisee now thinks a fresh approach is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track.

“Steve has always been part of the leadership team within RR and Rahane will continue to be a key voice in the side, therefore the Royals see this as a small restructuring process to secure the results required to move up the table,” the Royals said in a statement.

Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket for the Royals, said: “Steve is one of the most innovative and successful captains in the world, in all formats of the game. We are confident he can lead the Royals to success.”