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IPL 2020: 3 players who can lead Rajasthan Royals in Steve Smith’s absence

Australia’s three-match T20I series against New Zealand ends on March 29 while Rajasthan Royals play their first match of this season on April 2nd.

Steve Smith, IPL, IPL 2019
Steve Smith. (Photo: IANS)

In what will be a huge blow for Rajasthan Royals, Jofra Archer has been ruled out of three months due to a stress fracture on his right elbow. Adding to their woes, several overseas players including skipper Steven Smith might be missing a few games (initially as well as towards the end during playoffs) due to their international commitments.

Australia’s three-match T20I series against New Zealand ends on March 29 while Rajasthan Royals play their first match of this season on April 2nd– an away fixture against Chennai Super Kings. Hence, we might expect Smith to miss at least the opening game for his franchise.

Moreover, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes will also be busy in the two-match away Test series against Sri Lanka which ends on March 31. Hence, a majority of their key overseas players wouldn’t be available for the first two games. Also, England players might have to skip the playoff stages (if RR qualifies) as they will be joining the national squad for the three-match Test series against West Indies at home from June 4.

On that note, let us look at three players who can lead Rajasthan Royals in Steven Smith’s absence:

3. Jaydev Unadkat

IPL
Jaydev Unadkat. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Unadkat joined Rajasthan Royals for an astronomical price tag of INR 11.50 crore ahead of season eleven. Despite being released ahead of the 2019 IPL auction he was bought back by the Jaipur-based franchise for whopping INR 8.4 crore. But the left-arm seamer couldn’t justify his price tag on both the occasions managing 11 wickets and 10 wickets in 2018 and 2019 editions respectively.

Due to his lacklustre performance, he was once again released ahead of season thirteen auction but was bought back by the Royals for a comparatively lesser price of INR 3 crore. Having failed to make an impact in the last two seasons, the 28-year-old who is currently the third-highest wicket-taker in the ongoing 2019-20 Ranji Trophy with 51 scalps will be hoping to replicate his performance in the 2020 IPL.

Moreover, the Saurashtra skipper who is currently leading his team against Andhra in the Ranji quarterfinal must be ready to take up the additional responsibility of leading Rajasthan Royals in Steven Smith’s absence during the upcoming edition of IPL.

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