Steve Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane as Rajasthan Royals captain

Tanya Simon
April 22, 2019

Buttler's top score of the campaign was the 43-ball 89 he smote against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium, but he missed Saturday's return fixture in Jaipur as newly-appointed Royals skipper Steve Smith (59no) steered his side to a five-wicket victory that ignited their play-off chances. The leadership question appears to be a short-term solution though, for Smith will part ways with the team some time shortly. Royals have had a sequence of poor results in recent times, losing three of their last four games and six of eight overall so far.

A win at home finally achieved after multiple losses, a confident Delhi Capitals will hope to keep the juggernaut rolling when they take on Rajasthan Royals in an away IPL encounter on Monday.

Smith remains banned from holding a leadership role with Cricket Australia for another year after his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, but rose to the occasion with the Royals, hitting 59 runs off 48 deliveries. The Delhi Capitals, despite their deficiencies, are gaining momentum at a crucial time in the competition and need two good days to book a playoff spot. Barring Shreyas Iyer, no other batsman has been able to put runs consistently.

Credit should also be given to Sanju Samson for his whirlwind 35 off 19 balls that set the pace and enabled Smith to anchor the innings in the manner only he can.

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Sherfane Rutherford, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma. In Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas, they have two batsmen in form.

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Rajasthan are on the move and Delhi have been constantly improving and the contest is expected to be fought very closely.

He and seamer Jofra Archer have shouldered the bowling responsibility admirably.

Sky customers can watch the Indian Premier League live by tuning into Star Gold, available on channel 729. Among the bowlers, Archer has been the most impressive.

Shreyas Gopal's ten victims in VIVO IPL 2019 are: Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock.

The Rajasthan Royals are the only team to have not won a match batting first this season.

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