Australia captain Smith to lead IPL's Rajasthan Royals

26 February, 2018, 10:05 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Rajasthan Royals name Steve Smith as skipper for the eleventh edition of IPL

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the most expensive buy in the IPL player auction at Rs 12.5 crore while Steve Smith - the Australia skipper who led Rising Pune Supergiants a year ago - and Ajinkya Rahane have demonstrated their leadership skills on the big stage. "Smith has been incredible as captain of Australia". The Royals made the announcement on Live TV which is the first in IPL history. Mohammad Kaif, Prashant Chopra and Sanju Samson too graced the event.

"It is great to be back at (Rajasthan) Royals. Looking forward to working with Warne", Smith said. "He is someone who leads the team by example", he added.

"Currently that is the plan (to make Smith the skipper), but you always need options", Badale had said during a chat on the eve of the IPL auction last month.

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With many world class players in the squad, the choice of the leader was tough but the aim of Rajasthan Royals is to build a strong leadership team with the likes of Ajinkya, Steve, Ben Stokes etc who can then create a team that believes in the ability to play their respective roles and continue to strive towards a common goal. With Smith back as its skipper - he had also captained in 2015 - the 2008 champion side will be hoping to start the campaign with a bang. Smith said that he was looking forward to work with Warne.

However, Smith has led the Rising Pune Supergiant a year ago to the final of the IPL 10. The Pune franchise reached the final last season under Smith's guidance, losing to Mumbai Indians in the summit clash. In 2017, Smith played 15 matches and scored 472 runs at an average of 39.33 while leading the side to runners-up finish.

Shane Warne, who was recently appointed as the mentor of the franchise, was effusive in praise for Smith. "Looking forward to helping him if I can and taking the team forward".

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