Smith leads Rajasthan to victory at debut captaincy match


Rajasthan beat Indians by 5 wickets; Smith hits fifty and Royals finally can llok forward to achieve something from this years IPL, agencies report.

In today’s first match of VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, Rajasthan Royals, led by new captain Steve Smith locked horns with Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.  Time is running out for a struggling Rajasthan Royals as they hope to complete the double against Mumbai Indians in the reverse fixture. With six losses and two wins, hosts RR are languishing in the bottom half of the IPL 2019 points table and they would be desperate to bring their IPL 2019 campaign back on track with a much-needed win. In their previous match, Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, have looked formidable in IPL 2019 with a good mix of power hitters (Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard), quality bowlers (Jasprit Bumrah, Jason Behrendoff) and perfect all-rounders. Head to head, Mumbai Indians have won 10 out of 19 matches while Rajasthan Royals won nine.

Smith opts to bowl after taking over captaincy, while Royals make three changes.

Rajasthan Royals ann­ounced a new captain just over an hour before their home clash against Mumbai Indians and Steven Smith, the new lea­der, chose to bowl with three changes to the side.

Smith slotted into the XI for Jos Buttler, who has flown back home for the birth of his child, Ben Stokes replaced Ish Sodhi, and Riyan Parag took Rahul Tripathi's place in the XI. Mumbai Indians made only one change: legspinner Mayank Markande came in for offspinner Jayant Yadav, with captain Rohit Sharma saying that the number of right-handers in the Royals' side was the reason for the switch.

Smith said chasing would be a "good option" whereas Rohit said that he would have opted to bat first anyway.