IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane and Co to Welcome Steven Smith
India Premier League (IPL 2019) franchise Rajasthan Royals’ skipper Ajinkya Rahane has backed his teammate Steven Smith of the domestic professional league. Rahane remarked Smith is an invaluable player for any team and anybody could commit a mistake. He added the Jaipur-based franchise is committed to supporting their players in what could be termed a kind approach.
“We all know how good Steve Smith is as a player and what he did in the past for Royals and for Australian cricket. Mistakes can happen, and Rajasthan Royals is a team that believes in backing players,” Rahane told Hindustan Times.
Concurrently, the top-order batsman Smith is on the road to recovery after undergoing a knife in Australia. Only the time will decide whether he would be able to make it to the squad or not.
The doctors who operated upon Smith have suggested him to take at least six-week rest.
The 29-year-old Australia star batsman Smith coupled a blow during the recently-held Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). He could feature in two matches of the sixth edition of the BPL for Comilla Victorians. Smith managed to score 13 in two outing which includes a nought to his name, too.
Meanwhile, his former deputy David Warner met with the same fate.
The celebrated cricketer Smith made his IPL debut in 2012. However, there on he went on to feature in one of the most successful leagues until 2017. Between 2015-2017, Royals and Chennai Super Kings were banned for two years, following the fallout out of 2013 IPL fixing saga.
Smith’s inputs benefit Royals: Rahane
The 30-year-old top-order batsman Rahane stressed Smith’s wealth of experience would benefit the team and they will welcome the prominent face in the 25-member squad. Rahane added Smith is a player who has the potential to set an example for many.
“Definitely, we will welcome Steve Smith with love because he is our player and he is one of our own. It is good to have him, and I’m sure his inputs and experience will benefit us,” Rahane added.
However, the tainted cricket Smith drew flak for his involvement in the ball-tampering saga in 2018 at Cape Town in South Africa. Eventually, it becomes the substantial reason for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to bar Smith alongside Warner—to feature in the eleventh edition of the IPL.
The Cricket Australia (CA) showed no leniency whatsoever when they announced a one-year ban each for Warner and Smith.
In overall 69 matches, Smith amassed 1703 runs at the batting average of 37.02. He has smashed solitary hundred and five half-centuries during his IPL career.
More often than not, Royals have backed the youngsters while instilling confidence in them. Thus, it helped the franchise to yield desired results.
The champions of the inaugural edition of the 2008 IPL under Shane Warne, Royals could expect the change in their fortunes as they will don the pink jersey for the entire IPL.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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