Australia captain Steve Smith has been named as the captain of the side for the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals, mentor Shane Warne, head of the team, Zubin Bharucha and team co-owner, Manoj Badale announced . With the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes Royals boast of solid leadership options.

Speaking on the appointment of Smith as the captain, Zubin Bharucha said, “We have some great players and cricketing minds in the team with proven leaders like Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane. We came to the conclusion that Steve Smith would be the ideal candidate for the job. Smith has been incredible as captain of Australia. He is someone who leads the team by example.”

Warne said the Royals will continue to play intense cricket. “We will play the Royals’ brand of cricket, that is, with spirit and aggression, with which we are known to play with. I am looking forward to exciting cricket and a successful campaign.”

Smith, on his part, said he is looking forward to work with his legendary countryman. “It’s great to be back with the Royals. It’s an honour and a privilege to be leading Royals and I’m looking forward to working with the King (Shane Warne).”

Smith had been part of the Rajasthan Royals team in 2014 and 2015. The Australia player first came into limelight when he first played with the Royals as a spinner. Over the years, Smith emerged as a proper batsman and made tons of runs in both domestic and international cricket, where he went on to become the captain of the Australian side. He is often compared with legendary Aussie batsman Don Bradman.

Last season, Smith led Pune Warriors from the front guiding them to the final. Who can forget his innings in the final against Mumbai Indians, where Smith almost pulled off a successful chase with a brilliant knock but the team fell just short by one run. In 2017, Smith played 15 matches and scored 472 runs at an average of 39.33 while leading the side to runners-up finish.

His performance as Australia captain is incredible. Smith has only evolved into that role since taking over as Australia captain. Recently, Smith broke several batting records while sensationally leading Australia to the Ashes title, establishing himself as a great leader and cricketer.

“Smith has had a long association with the franchise and can help in the development of the team and the franchise for a long time” Royals co-owner Manoj Badale added. Rajasthan Royals will kick-off their season against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 09 followed by a home game against Delhi Daredevils on April 11 at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.