Former Australian captain Steve Smith is one of the only two overseas skippers along with his countryman David Warner in the upcoming edition of the IPL. Rajasthan Royals’ head coach Andrew McDonald, who was thrust into the role, opened up about Steve Smith’s willingness to lead the side and his excellent relationship with him.
Steve Smith returned to the captaincy position midway through the tournament last year after Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy yielded poor results. Smith’s leadership lasted a few matches with the majority of them resulting in victories.
However, it was not enough to bag them a playoff spot. It is worth noting that the Rising Pune Supergiants made it to the finals of the 2017 tournament under the leadership of the right-handed batsman.
Andrew Mcdonald highlighted that he knows Smith for quite a while now and keen to work with him as he looks forward to captaining the team. The Victorian felt confident that the right man is in charge as the franchise prepares for a different kind of challenge.
“I’ve known him for quite a while now and am really looking forward to working with him. He’s really looking forward to stepping back into that leadership role.
“It’s an interesting challenge for him too and I feel comfortable that we’ve got the right man leading the charge,” the former Australian all-rounder Andrew McDonald said in an interview with Sportstar.
We’re really hopeful that they turn up in great shape and are ready to go: Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald highlighted that the limited-overs series between England and Australia before the IPL would keep their key players in good stead. Andrew McDonald added that the intra-squad games would help the other players to get match-ready too.
However, he admits that the intensity in an IPL game would be at a different level. The three ODIs and T20Is between England and Australia will go on from 4th to 16th of September while the IPL commences on the 19th.
“We’re really hopeful that they turn up in great shape and are ready to go.
“In theory, it should be a bonus for us because they’d be ready, and that’s one thing the other players will be chasing during this preparation phase -to be skill ready and match ready through practice games and intra-squad games.
“But we also know that it isn’t always the same as the intensity level of an IPL game,” the 39-year-old added.