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Ajinkya Rahane to lead Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals as Steve Smith returns to Australia

first_imgAjinkya Rahane will be leading the Rajasthan Royals after Steve Smith left for Australia’s 2019 ICC World Cup camp. Rahane will be leading the side in their last IPL 2019 match against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.Rajasthan had started the 2019 Indian Premier League campaign under the leadership of Rahane but the captaincy was handed over to Smith just minutes before RR’s crucial clash against Mumbai Indians back on April 20 at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur. Up until that game, Rajasthan had registered just two wins from 8 games.After the change in captaincy, Rajasthan saw a change in fortunes too as they won four games on the bounce and Smith’s last game in charge was washed out against Royal Challengers Bangalore.Steve Smith, who had missed the IPL in 2018 due to his ball-tampering ban, returned to the Royals this season and scored 319 runs in 12 matches at an average of 39.87 which also included three half-centuries.Rahane too has been in terrific form with the bat since, scoring a total of 391 runs from 13 games, including a century against Delhi Capitals on April 22.”Rahane, someone who embodies all the qualities you’d expect from a Rajasthan Royals player, took the reins for our first few games, allowing Smith to settle in. We did not have a great start to the season, but our skipper was in good form, scoring a sublime 70 against SRH and providing a strong start during a successful chase against MI in Mumbai,” Rajasthan Royals said on their website.”Keeping Ajinkya’s role as a successful opener for the team in mind and to release him of captaincy pressures, Smith was made captain before our home game against MI. The two continued to take leadership calls, and Rahane continued to score runs, including a majestic hundred against Delhi Capitals. The team got back to winning ways too.advertisement”Now that Smith has returned to Australia, Rahane is the man in charge, as we look to beat Delhi Capitals in our final game of the league stage and hope to advance into the Playoffs. The leadership at Rajasthan Royals has always been in safe hands,” the official statement from Rajasthan Royals added.”Jinks has always been a great guiding force for the team. We have requested Ajinkya to take on the captaincy of the team; as a true Royal he has shown great courage and character in graciously accepting the responsibility, which accompanies this role, whilst it would have been easier for him to take a back seat and focus solely on his batting. A true team man and a true Royal, we are extremely fortunate to have characters like him playing this sport and even prouder he is part of the Rajasthan Royals franchise,” Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket at Rajasthan Royals told the RR website.”He has consistently been part of the leadership team taking key decisions and we have full trust in him taking us to victory tomorrow,” Bharucha added.Also Read | Thank you Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith bids goodbye to IPL 2019Also Read | IPL 2019: Steve Smith takes over Rajasthan Royals captaincy from Ajinkya RahaneAlso Read | Steve Smith on replacing Ajinkya Rahane as RR captain: Owners felt need for changelast_img read more