Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals won the battle of nerves to win their third match of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Mumbai Indians at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday. Before the start of the game, Rajasthan Royals came up with a big announcement stating, “Steve Smith will lead the side with immediate effect”, and one has to say, this made Royals look different on the ground. 

At the start of the game, the hosts bowled in the right lines and restricted the opposition batsmen to open their arms which eventually led them to restrict Mumbai Indians for a below-par total of 161 runs. In response, Rajasthan Royals were off to a flying start and were able to dominate the chase. 

Let’s look at the factors which tilted the game in Rajasthan Royals’ favour: 

1. Steve Smith utilises his bowlers to perfection

The toss fell in favour of Smith, who asked the opposition to have a bat. Rohit Sharma along with Quinton de Kock started off the innings but Sharma couldn’t stay at the wicket for long, got dismissed in third over. For next 98 runs, Mumbai Indians didn’t lose a wicket, however, they took 12 overs to score those runs. The visitors were just not able to up the scoring rate and ended up with 161 runs on the board. 

Also read: Breaking: Steve Smith is replacing Ajinkya Rahane as the captain of RR

Steve let Stuart Binny open the bowling and gave Shreyas Gopal to bowl the second over. He continued to experiment and utilise his bowling unit effectively which made it difficult for the Mumbai batsmen to settle. 

2. Smith plays a captain’s knock 

The newly appointed Rajasthan captain Steve Smith walked into bat after Ajnkya Rahane being dismissed in the fourth over and Rajasthan 123 runs away from the victory. To stay in the competition, this was a must-win encounter and skipper played in that fashion. Smith knew that in the absence of Jos Buttler, he had to bat through the innings and take Rajasthan over the line. The Australian ran between the wickets brilliantly and dispatched the loose deliveries for boundaries.

Also read: IPL 2019: 2 mistakes by Rajasthan Royals that proved costly against Kings XI Punjab

He strung important partnerships with Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag during the course of his innings. Steve Smith remained unbeaten on 59 runs from 49 balls and ensured a five-wicket win. It will be interesting to see if the new captain can keep up his form.