IPL 2020: Steve Smith declared fit to lead Rajasthan Royals in their opener against Chennai Super Kings

IPL 2020: Steve Smith declared fit to lead Rajasthan Royals in their opener against Chennai Super Kings

After locking horns with a dominant CSK side, Royals will face Kings XI Punjab on September 27 and Kolkata Knight Riders on September 30.

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

Rajasthan Royals have received a positive piece of news ahead of their IPL 2020 campaign. Ahead of their opening fixture against Chennai Super Kings, Royals’ skipper Steve Smith was dubious to play after being sidelined from the One-day International series against England.

During the series, Smith was struck in the head by a throwdown from new assistant coach Trent Woodhill. Despite clearing multiple concussions tests, he didn’t brace the field in a single ODI of the three-match series. But it has now been confirmed that the Australian stalwart will lead Royals in their first game of IPL 2020.

“Yeah, obviously I missed the last three one-dayers in England. Been in Dubai for a couple of days now with some good rest and then got into a bit of running. Yesterday I did a bit of zig-zag running, which is part of the protocols to pass to get back to play and today I’ll have a hit in the nets. Hopefully, pull up well from the hit and be good to play tomorrow,” said Smith as quoted by Inside Sport.

Hopefully, we can put on a good show against CSK: Steve Smith

After winning the season-opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians, MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will come out all guns blazing against the Rajasthan side. Smith, while appreciating his opponent, said that RR are hoping to put up a good show and start off their IPL 2020 campaign on a positive note.

“Chennai and Mumbai both have been two really strong teams for a long time now. We obviously watched a bit of the game the other night, the Super Kings played really well to get over the line in the end. Hopefully, we can put on a really good show and get our campaign off to a good start,” he added.

Royals will be benefitted by Smith’s presence against CSK but they’ll miss the services of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. While Buttler is in quarantine after arriving in the UAE separately with his family, Stokes is in his hometown New Zealand with his ailing father Ged.

Andrew McDonald, head coach of RR, also expressed joy over the availability of Smith in their opening encounter. “Fantastic news that Steve is available. It’s fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the UK. It’s obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game as I’ve said before we are in really good hands. In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn’t be happier with their preparation. We’ve got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off,” he said.

After locking horns with a dominant CSK side, Royals will face Kings XI Punjab on September 27 and Kolkata Knight Riders on September 30.