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IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane sacked as RR captain, Steve Smith to lead

IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane Sacked as Rajasthan Royals Captain, Steve Smith to Lead

Rajasthan Royals have had a torrid time in the Indian Premier League this year. They have lost 6 out of 8 games so far. Hoping for a revival, they have made a change in the leadership. Ajinkya Rahane, who has been leading the side thus far, has been sacked. Steve Smith will take over the captaincy for the remaining matches of RR.

“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. 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,” stated Rajasthan Royals stated in a press release.

Speaking about his appointment, Steve Smith said at the toss, “Ajinkya has done a terrific job in the last one and a half year and the team management thinks there’s a need for a change. I have done a bit of leadership in the IPL with a bit of success, hopefully, I can lead the team well.”

Steve Smith has prior captaincy experience in the IPL. He had taken over the captaincy from MS Dhoni for Rising Pune Supergiant and led them to the final in the 2017 edition. However, he had missed the last season after being suspended by Cricket Australia. The franchise had decided not to include him in the squad in 2018.

More worries ahead for RR

The road ahead for RR is pretty difficult. They have to win almost every game from here on to stand a chance to make it to the playoffs. To add to the worries, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer will leave to join their national squad. Steve Smith himself is expected to leave on May 1 to join the Australian team for World Cup preparations. The franchise will have to name another captain once he leaves.

Also Read: Who will win the ODI World Cup 2019? Here are the top 5 contenders

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