Sanju Samson to lead Rajasthan Royals: Rajasthan Royals have handed the reigns of the team to a whole new captain for IPL 2021.
Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals have released captain Steven Smith ahead of the IPL 2021 auction becoming the first team to let go of their captain.
While the same was being speculated for a few days now, Royals have finally made the harsh decision according to ESPNcricinfo. Smith, 31, was criticized for both his captaincy and batting after Royals finished as the bottom-ranked team with six victories in 14 matches.
On the batting, Smith’s 311 runs had come at a mediocre average and strike rate of 25.91 and 131.62 respectively. Despite hitting three half-centuries in IPL 2020, the Australian batsman couldn’t generate the amount of impact needed from an overseas captain.
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 19, 2021
All in all, Smith represented Royals in 50 matches across four seasons scoring 1,070 runs at an average ans strike rate of 30.57 and 126.93 respectively.
Sanju Samson to lead Rajasthan Royals
Despite the presence of numerous options such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jaydev Unadkat as senior players who could’ve led Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021, the team management has decided to hand the reigns to Sanju Samson.
While Stokes had led England for the first time in a Test match last year, Buttler is their vice-captain across white-ball formats leading in six ODIs and four T20Is so far.
Having said that, Royals were expected to be skeptical about naming an English captain given how the start of their summer normally clashes with the IPL and no franchise would want their captain to leave midway for national duty.
Samson, who most recently led Kerala in the ongoing season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will lead for the first time in the IPL this season. Apart from this development, Royals have appointed former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara as their Team Director.