At the outset of the latest scandal involving the highly reputed Steve Smith and newcomer Cameron Bancroft tampering with the ball in the test against South Africa, Rajasthan Royals have come up with a firm decision of changing the skipper.
Indian Premier league is one of the most awaited cricketing event. And Australian cricketers are heavily relied upon. But, their recent act of ball tampering and admitting to it hurt the prestige of the maiden winner franchisee of IPL, the Rajasthan Royals. Rajasthan Royals have taken the decision of passing on the baton of captaincy to Ajinkya Rahane from Steve Smith on 26 March 2018.
Twitter took to storm as soon as the scandal broke out with live footage showing Cameron Bancroft tampering with the ball and Steve smith admitting to be the master-planner of the whole act.
Steve smith will undergo a vigilance under counsel of Australian Cricketing board and has been fined heavily. In post match conference, Smith also added “It’s in the best interest of Rajasthan Royals that he step down as captain“.
With this consent, Ajinkya Rahane is appointed the new skipper of the team.
Co-owner, Manoj Badale also stated “The game is bigger than any individual and we hold this thought close to our heart” on twitter.
Mohammed Kaif also twitted in favor of Indian skippers in IPL 2018.
But is this decision worth a penny? Let’s find out.
Rajasthan Royals Statistics
The team became the first one to lift the IPL trophy under the captaincy of Shane Warne. The team with not-so-great-names made a mark on the first edition of IPL clinching the “underdog” tag to “winners-in-style“. Chennai Superkings put 163 on board and it was thought that CSk won already. But, Yusuf Pathan with his brilliant knock helped RR to achieve the target of 164.
The maiden year was a great years for the Royals as they top the table but afterwards they had a bumpy ride. The next editions were not so great for Rajasthan Royals as they could not surpass the 5th position except 2013. And soon in 2015, BCCI stopped the franchisee to participate in the tournament. The whole team was split with core players playing for other franchisees such as Rising Pune Supergiants, etc.
Smith vs Rahane
Looking at the statistics, Smith was appointed captain of Rajasthan Royals in the year 2014. Since then, RR has seen improvement in the standings. Eventually, individual performances also matter. In 19 innings, Smith has scored about 440 runs with 79* being the highest. He always kept the player morale. He has some great moments both on and off the field. We cherish them and love watching those classy shots too often.
But, Ajinkya Rahane’s statistics are quite on the better edge. Being an opening batsman may provide him with the opportunity but he has proven his worth. 2047 runs off 66 innings with 103* being the highest and an average of 35.91 makes him a great option.
All these figures do look good. But, there is more to add on to captaincy. One just can not go at par with the best captains of the previous generations by records and runs. One must also find a way to gel up the team, continuously boost the team morale, keep calm and most of all take important decision on and off the field. So, the question is “Is Rahane mature enough to handle the stress or is he going to sink the ship?”
At this point of time, it is really difficult to predict what will be the impact but we can hope to see some new facets of him. The facets of leading a team.
Will the Royals bounce back?
Rajasthan royals is coming back to IPL after serving the two-year ban but will they come with a bang? Well, that’s another aspect. The ball tampering scandal and sudden change of skipper is guiding a driving change in the build up of the team. Though Rahane has evolved as a Batsman, its time for him to evolve as a captain. Will he able to do it?
May be. Steve Smith can also impart his experiences but it all depends on how he executes.
Will the royals bounce back after so much turmoil or has the ship started sinking?
The answers can be found out on 09 April 2018 where RR faces SRH in hyderabad.