Our View: England star is the man to replace Steve Smith at Rajasthan Royals

Vivek Ram Bharadwaj January 26, 2021
Photo by Vishal Bhatnagar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rajasthan Royals will replace former Australia skipper Steve Smith for the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). We think that incoming batsman should be current England captain Joe Root.

The Royals’ decision to release Smith came as something of a shock. The Australia batsman fetched the handsome sum of 12.5 crore rupees (about £1.25 million) for IPL 2020. The 31-year-old had a decent run with the bat, scoring 311 runs at an average of 25.92 and a strike rate of 131.22 (Howstat).

However, his team didn’t perform to the best of their ability and finished bottom of the table having won only six games. Subsequently, the management wanted a change in leadership and Sanju Samson will now shoulder the responsibility.

Root would suit

The 30-year-old Root has yet to make an appearance in the IPL – he remained unsold in the 2018 auction.

Snapping up Root would be a symbiotic relationship as the Royals would have a dressing room presence to fill Smith’s void while the Yorkshireman could work on getting back into England’s T20 side.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Although the right-hander played his last T20 in 2019, his game hasn’t diminished. He has scored more than 1,000 runs since 2019 in ODI cricket (Howstat) and was outstanding during England’s Test series win in Sri Lanka.

An extra layer

Root has scored 893 runs in 30 T20I appearances at an average of 35.72 and a strike rate of 126.31. Five fifties and a high score of 90 not out prove he can set the game up for a perfect finish (Howstat). Additionally, 572 runs batting at three is perfect for Root to walk in at one-down.

Root would also bring massive experience as a captain. In 45 ODI outings he led England to victory on 24 occasions, with 15 draws and only six defeats (Cricinfo).

You can’t put a price on experience and Root could be a perfect sounding board for new skipper Samson.

After his recent performances, Rajasthan Royals should look to grab Root before another franchise pulls him first.