Rajasthan Royals have appointed former captain Ajinkya Rahane to lead the side for the remainder of their Indian Premier League campaign. India’s Test vice-captain had been replaced as skipper by Australian Steve Smith for RR’s last five matches.

Rahane captained Rajasthan for their first eight matches in IPL 2019 and the men in pink won just two of those games. Smith, on the other hand, led the Royals to three victories in the five matches that he was captain, with one of the those games ending without a result.

Smith has gone back to Australia to join his national teammates for a preparatory camp for the upcoming ICC World Cup in England.

“Jinks [Rahane] has always been a great guiding force for the team,” Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket at Rajasthan Royals, said in a statement on Friday.

“We have requested Ajinkya to take on the captaincy of the team; as a true Royal he has shown great courage and character in graciously accepting the responsibility, which accompanies this role, whilst it would have been easier for him to take a back seat and focus solely on his batting.

“A true team man and a true Royal, we are extremely fortunate to have characters like him playing this sport and even prouder he is part of the Rajasthan Royals franchise. He has consistently been part of the leadership team taking key decisions and we have full trust in him taking us to victory tomorrow,” added Bharucha.

Rajasthan have 13 points from 13 games and are in the fifth position on the points table. They play third-placed Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday, with a win necessary to stand any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.