IPL 2019: Steve Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane as skipper of Rajasthan Royals
Smith will lead the side from immediate effect starting the match against Mumbai later today.
Updated - Apr 20, 2019 3:11 pm
Jaipur, April 20, 2019: Rajasthan Royals will be led by the Australian batsman Steve Smith for the upcoming matches of the IPL 2019 season. Ajinkya Rahane did a fantastic job in leading the team to the playoffs last year, however, the franchise now thinks a fresh approach is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track.
Rahane led them in the 8 matches this season and the Royals have won just two of those games. RR lost the first three matches of their campaign this year and won only against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, that game didn’t bring about a change in momentum for the side. Rajasthan went on to lose the next two matches to Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, eventually, their second win of the season came against Mumbai Indians after which Kings XI Punjab once again beat them in the reverse fixture.
Rahane to remain a key part of the team
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.
Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, said, “Ajinkya is and will always be a true Royal. He led the team to the playoffs in 2018 in a very challenging scenario and that will go down as one of the great comebacks of the IPL. He remains a key part of our side and leadership team and will extend support wherever required to Steve.”
Innovative Steve Smith
“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,” added Bharucha.
Their next game is against Mumbai at home and with 6 more games to play, it is a do-or-die situation for the side where have to win all the matches in order to have a playoffs qualification chance.