20 Apr 2019: Royals drop Rahane as skipper, Smith takes charge
Rajasthan Royals announced that the Australian star cricketer Steve Smith will take over the captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane.
Smith, who made a return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) after serving a 12-month ban, will lead the franchise for the rest of the season.
The announcement was made with RR set to face Mumbai Indians at 4:00 PM on Saturday.
Form: RR's poor form in IPL 2019 led to this decision
Steve Smith was set to lead the side in IPL 2018, but a ban imposed on him saw Rahane get the job.
The Indian cricketer did well to lead the side to the play-offs.
This season saw Rahane continue as the captain, despite the return of Smith.
But results haven't gone their way and that played a part in him being dropped as skipper.
Fact: Here's what Royals had to say
Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket for Royals, said, "Ajinkya is and will always be a true Royal. He led the team to the play offs in 2018...He remains a key part of our side and leadership team and will extend support wherever required to Steve."
Rahane form: Rahane has been woeful in IPL 2019
Rahane has suffered in IPL 2019 with just 201 runs from eight matches.
He hasn't led the side from the front with the bat and that's been a major reason behind failures.
He has managed just one score of fifty.
Not just that, the Royals have lost the plot in key moments with Rahane making some wrong decisions on the field.
Smith: RR make the right decision in appointing Smith as skipper
Smith led Rising Pune Supergiant to the final in IPL 2017.
The Aussie is definitely a better choice as he is a world class leader.
RR missed the trick by not handing him the role from the start.
He knows how to get the best out from the team and his decision-making is better than that of Rahane on any given day.
Fact: Can Smith come to RR's aid?
RR have six more matches to turn their campaign around and they will be looking up to Smith to bring in some stability. Smith will need to fire with the bat as well. Perhaps, the leadership role will help him contribute significantly.