IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals captaincy did surprise Smith

Steve Smith taking over the captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane led Rajasthan Royals to a five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians with a match-winning knock of 59 not out.

Steve Smith remained unbeaten on 59 in Rajasthan's win over Mumbai.   -  PTI Photo

On a comeback trail after serving a one-year suspension, Steve Smith taking over the captaincy from Ajinkya Rahane led Rajasthan Royals to a five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians with a match-winning knock of 59 not out.

The captaincy role between the tournament did take Smith by surprise. “The management told me yesterday that they wanted me to captain for the rest of the season and I was a bit surprised by it at the time. It is obviously an honour and privilege to captain the Royals,” he said.

He lauded Rahane's efforts as captain in the first half of the tournament and in the previous season. “I think Ajinkya has done a terrific job in the last year and a half. He got the Royals to the playoffs last year. Fortunately I won the first game as captain.”

Read: Smith eases into captaincy after ball-tampering ban

Smith said he had a chat with Rahane. “I told him that I wasn’t going for the captaincy or anything like that,” he said. The management just called me in.”

He felt Ajinkya handled the situation well. “He is a terrific guy,” he said. “He told me, ‘Whatever good for the team I will support.’ And look at the way he came out in this match. It is never easy being told that kind of things. He played really nice cricketing shots and got off us to a good start.”

Smith was happy with the win and hopes the team will build on from the momentum of this game.

“Hopefully we can go from strength to strength. Every game is pretty much a final for us now. I thought the boys did really well in this game,” he said.