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Home Fantasy Cricket Who is Rajasthan Royals Captain for IPL 2022? – A Brief History

Who is Rajasthan Royals Captain for IPL 2022? – A Brief History

Rajasthan Royals (RR) started their Indian Premier League journey in a spectacular style by winning the inaugural edition of the tournament. It was a landmark achievement for a team with no backers and very young players. Rajasthan Royals have always stuck with their philosophy of backing youngsters. This is the main reason why the Rajasthan captain for IPL 2022 will be Sanju Samson.

Brief History

The franchise, formerly owned by the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and businessman Raj Kundra, was the least expensive side in the early years.

Rajasthan Royals have been involved in some major controversies including a two-year ban for the team and lifetime ban for the owners.

Rajasthan Royals were one of the teams that didn’t opt for an ‘Icon Player’ ahead of the tournament’s launch in 2008. RR bought some quality players in the auction but were written off by the fans and experts as the weakest team. RR decided to appoint Australian legend Shane Warne as the skipper and that’s how their journey began. Let’s take a look at all the players that have captained RR in the IPL history.

Shane Warne (2008-2011)

The greatest spinner in the history of sports, Shane Warne never got the chance to lead Australia in his career. Rajasthan Royals acquired his services for a hefty amount of USD 450,000 and handed him the captaincy.

Warne proved his tactical acumen straightaway in the inaugural season by pulling out countless out of the box tactics. Considered as the weakest side on paper, RR reached the top 4 and defeated Delhi Daredevils by 105 runs in the semifinals. RR then went on to beat Chennai Super Kings in a last ball thriller in the final to lift the trophy.

Much like his international career, Warne’s IPL stint was gripped by controversies too and RR could not replicate the same success in the next three years under his leadership. RR finished sixth and seventh in the 2009 & 2010 editions respectively. The RR management continued their trust in him and retained him ahead of the 2011 mega auction. However things didn’t quite work out as RR finished sixth in IPL 2011 and Warne decided to retire from all forms of cricket.

Under the leadership of Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals played 55 matches, winning 30 and losing 24. As a player too, Warne was outstanding for RR, picking 57 wickets at an economy of 7.27.

Rahul Dravid (2012-2013)

The Indian legend was hired by Rajasthan Royals in 2011 for Rs. 2.3 crores. After Shane Warne retired, who was better equipped to fill his shoes than the former Indian captain? The one who was instrumental in India’s change of approach in ODI cricket.

Dravid took the charge and helped RR get the best of limited resources they had. Although RR finished seventh in 2012, they made a great comeback next year to finish third. RR also made it to the finals of the Champions League 2013, which was incidentally Dravid’s last match in professional cricket. Dravid’s tactical genius and ability to inspire youngsters received high praise from all corners.

Overall, Dravid led RR in 40 matches, winning 23 and losing 17. Rahul Dravid also enjoyed his best IPL years during his RR stint, scoring 1276 runs at an average of 29.7.

Shane Watson (2008-2015)

The Australian all-rounder was the player of the tournament in Rajasthan Royals’ first title victory, scoring 472 runs and picking 17 wickets in the 2008 season. Watson first captained RR in 2008 in their last group match when Shane Warne was rested ahead of the semifinals.

In 2014, Watson was finally given the full-time captaincy by RR. They narrowly missed the playoffs on net run-rate in that season but made the top 4 in the 2015 edition. After which, Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years and that was the end of their association with Watson.

Shane Watson captained RR in 21 matches in his stint, winning only seven and losing 11 of those. As a player, however, Watson had tremendous success with RR, scoring 2372 runs at an average of 36.5 and strike rate of 141.3. He also picked 61 scalps in 70 innings for RR.

Steve Smith (2014-2020)

Rajasthan Royals acquired the services of Australia’s Steve Smith in the 2014 auction for Rs. 4 crores. Smith first led the side as a stand-in skipper in one match of IPL 2014 against Delhi. He was also the stand-in skipper in the first four matches of IPL 2015 until Shane Watson returned.

After the reintroduction of RR in 2018, Smith was the only player to be retained but had to miss the season. He took over as the skipper halfway into the tournament in IPL 2019 and was their full-time captain next year. However, the Royals succumbed to a bottom table finish and they decided to part ways with Smith.

Overall, Smith led RR in 27 matches, winning 15 and losing 11 of those. As a batsman, Smith scored over 1000 runs for RR with an average of 30.6.

Ajinkya Rahane (2018-2019)

Ajinkya Rahane had been a part of Rajasthan Royals for years and played a decent role at the top of the order. After RR’s two-year ban ended, Rahane was appointed as the skipper for the 2018 edition.

Rahane did a good job as RR reached the playoffs but eventually lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator. Rahane also led RR in the first eight games in IPL 2019 before he was sacked from the position.

Overall, Rahane captained RR in 24 matches, winning only nine and losing 15 of those. As a batsman, Rahane scored 2810 runs for RR, averaging 34.3.

Sanju Samson (2021-Present)

Sanju Samson has been one of the most talented cricketers in Indian circuit and was marked by none other than Rahul Dravid as the future. Samson has been a part of the Royals since 2013 and was bought back for Rs. 8 crores in the 2018 mega auction. He was handed the captaincy ahead of the IPL 2021.

In his very first season as the captain, Samson had to tackle countless issues including the unavailability of RR’s top overseas players. Before the IPL was suspended due to Covid-19, Samson led his team from the front, scoring 277 runs at an average and strike rate of 46.2 and 145.8, respectively.

However, Samson’s glorious individual form was not translated into team success as RR lost four out of seven matches.

Also Read: These Players have Captained Mumbai Indians in the Past IPL Editions

Ashish Pant
A fantasy gaming enthusiast, gaming writer and an out and out cricket nerd. I am an engineer by education who found his solace in writing.

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