Steve Smith. Photograph:( AFP )
'I have done a bit of leadership in the IPL with a bit of success, hopefully, I can lead the team well,' says Smith
Australian cricketer Steve Smith has replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the captain of Rajasthan franchise in the Indian Premier League tournament ahead of their match against Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai on Saturday.
At the time of toss, Smith said, "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," he added.
Smith, who is back in action after serving a one-year ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, has served the Rajasthan team as skipper earlier.
Rajasthan have lost six out of their eight games, need to win at least five of their remaining six matches to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Smith was also named captain before the start of the 2018 edition but in the wake of the ball-tampering incident, it was decided that Rahane would lead the team in the Australian's forced absence.
"Rajasthan Royals will be led by the Australian batsman Steven Smith for the upcoming matches of the IPL. 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," said the team in a statement.
However, Smith is expected to be available until May 1 but by then, the team would have played majority of its league games.
Star players Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler would also be leaving next week to join England's World Cup camp.