At a time when most of the teams are just focussing on how to win the remaining games in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals are busy on finding the right team combination. on Saturday, they removed Ajinkya Rahane as their captain. Steve Smith has been handed the responsibility to lead the side. They have to now look out for a new opener as their English star Jos Buttler returned home on Saturday. Buttler and his wife Louise Weber are expecting their first child.

Buttler was expected to leave for England anyway but he was set to play the game against Mumbai Indians on Saturday. The wicketkeeper-batsman was scheduled to leave for England following Rajasthan Royals’ next fixture – against Delhi Capitals on April 22 – for preparations for World Cup 2019 as directed by the England and Wales Cricket Board. Buttler has been in good form for Royals this season, having scored 311 runs in eight matches. He is seventh in the list of leading run-scorers this season.

Jos Buttler (Credits: IPL )

With the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and Steve Smith not in good form, Royals now face an upheaval task in their quest to make it to the playoffs.  The Royals stand seventh in the points table with just two wins in eight games. The Royals will later lose the Stokes and Jofra Archer as well as the duo will fly to England too for international duties.

After the World Cup camp, England will play a solitary ODI against Ireland on May 3 and then a limited-overs series against Pakistan, comprising one T20I and five ODIs. They will then play two warm-up matches against Australia and Afghanistan on May 25 and 27 before the start of the showpiece event on May 30.

The Royals, meanwhile, will have to win as many games as possible from the remaining six to stand any chance of making it to the playoffs. Another loss could very well end their slim hopes of progressing ahead of the group stage.