IPL 2019, RR vs MI: Steve Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane as Rajasthan Royals captain for rest of tournament

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Updated: April 20, 2019 3:47:11 PM

England's Jos Buttler has done the bulk of scoring for Rajasthan. His fiery 89 off 43 balls was the cornerstone of Royals' four-wicket victory over Mumbai but rest the batsmen have either struggled or not been consistent.

Rajasthan will take on Mumbai Indians under Smith’s captaincy. (iplt20.com)

Australian batsman Steven Smith will lead Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming matches of the IPL 2019. The Jaipur-based franchise has replaced Ajinkya Rahane to bring in “a fresh approach” which is needed to bring their 2019 campaign back on track. “Steve is one of the most innovative and successful captains in the world, in all formats of the game. We are confident he can lead the Royals to success.” Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, said.

Fast running out of time, a struggling Rajasthan Royals will hope to complete the double against Mumbai Indians in a return-leg IPL fixture and revive their campaign in Jaipur Saturday.

How Rajasthan Royals fair?

With six losses and two wins, hosts Rajasthan Royals are languishing at the second last position in the points table and they would be desperate to bring their campaign back on track with a much-needed win in today’s match. Rajasthan would be taking heart from the four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians at their own den last Saturday and will hope to get the better of their rivals once again, this time at home. However, it will be easier said than done considering Rajasthan’s dismal record at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. Apart from their lone victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan have lost three matches at home.

England’s Jos Buttler has done the bulk of scoring for Rajasthan. His fiery 89 off 43 balls was the cornerstone of Royals’ four-wicket victory over Mumbai but rest the batsmen have either struggled or not been consistent. Sanju Samson, who had hit the first ton of this IPL, too has not delivered in past couple of innings. Skipper Anjikya Rahane, himself, has got starts but failed to convert them. The pace-spin duo of Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal has spearheaded their bowling attack but rest of the bowlers have been far from penetrative and also proved costly in death overs.

Mumbai Indians look formidable this season

Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have looked formidable this season with a good mix of power hitters, quality bowlers and perfect all-rounders. The three-time former champions grabbed the second position after a dominating 40-run win over Delhi Capitals last night and would be eager to avenge their defeat against Rajasthan on Saturday to inch closer to the play-off berth. If skipper Rohit Sharma, who completed 8000 runs in T20 last night, and Quinton De Kock laid the foundation at the top, the Pandya brothers — Hardik and Krunal, along with the big-hitting Kieron Pollard have provided the late charge to help MI post huge scores.

MI boasts of two of the best death bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, who has taken 10 wickets from nine games so far, and veteran Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith (C), Sanju Samson (W), Ashton Turner, Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Mumbai Indians: Quinton de Kock (W), Rohit Sharma (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.

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