Rajasthan: Steve Smith, who recently replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the Rajasthan Royals captain, said that he was a bit surprised when management told him to lead the team.
“It is always an honour and privilege to captain the (Rajasthan) Royals … the management called me yesterday and said that they wanted me to captain the rest of the season, I was bit surprised by it at the time but that is there decision,” Smith told reporters during the post-match press conference here on Saturday.
Moreover, Smith did not shy away from praising Rahane and called him a “terrific guy.”
“Ajinkya is a terrific guy, he said ‘whatever is the best for the team, I (Rahane) will support’. I think you just have to look at the way he came out today. It is never easy being told those kinds of things but he came out and played some really nice cricket shots at the start,” Smith said.
Smith invigorated Rajasthan as he scored an unbeaten 59 runs which helped his side to subjugate the visitors and won the match by five wickets.
Before this victory, Rajasthan Royals had only two victories, in this season of IPL, from eight matches under the leadership of Rahane. Now Rajasthan will be looking to turn things around with their new leader.
Back in 2017, Smith was leading Rising Supergiants at the time and rallied his troops to the IPL final, though the side was unable to clinch the title as Mumbai Indians won the match by one run.
Last year, Smith was not allowed to participate in the IPL amid the ball-tampering scandal and faced a year-long ban from Cricket Australia for his action during the third test match against South Africa in March last year.
Smith’s ban ended last month and the 29-year old has already found a spot in the 15-member squad announced by Cricket Australia, on April 15, for the forthcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Howbeit, Aaron Finch will lead the side as Smith is still not eligible to captain the Australia team as he is yet to serve another ban according to which he is not permitted to lead the Australia side, for one more year.