IPL 2020: Steve Smith eyes quick turnaround after Rajasthan Royals' dip in form

Rajasthan take on Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday

Steve Smith captain of Rajasthan Royals during match 9 of season 13 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on the 27th September 2020.  Photo by: Rahul Gulati  / Sportzpics for BCCI
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Steve Smith is calling for his Rajasthan Royals side to regroup ahead of their encounter with defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Rajasthan made the early running this season with two rousing wins in Sharjah in their opening two matches.

They have twice tasted defeat since, though, and were comprehensively beaten by Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Zayed Cricket Stadium last time out.

While their performances have dropped off, they have at least had good news off the field, with the arrival in Dubai of Ben Stokes.

The England all-rounder will not be available for the game against Mumbai as he completes his quarantine after travelling from New Zealand, where he had been on compassionate leave with his family.

Whether he is rushed backed into the side as soon as he is available is questionable, too.

Stokes has not played since August 5, and he has scarcely trained since then, either.


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Smith, Rajasthan’s captain, is focused on them turning around their form as soon as possible.

“The last two games haven’t gone to plan for us after what was a really good start to the tournament,” Smith said.

“But I guess that’s the way T20 cricket goes sometimes. We haven’t played our best games in our last two and have been outplayed by the opposition on both occasions.

“It’s about regrouping and moving forward now, trying to get better and get some wins on the board in the coming games.”

Rajasthan’s dip has coincided with Smith missing out on runs twice.

He made half-centuries in each of their wins, and single figure scores in the two losses.

“I’ve missed out on the last two games but that happens,” Smith said.

“We’ll see which of our players fit in our plans for tomorrow’s match and fit in certain scenarios in the game, and try and get the best match-ups for Mumbai.”

The fixture pits represents Mumbai’s quickest turnaround of the competition so far. They played Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday afternoon, and won easily in Sharjah.

“We are used to this travelling,” Krunal Pandya, the Mumbai all-rounder, said.

“We will have a rest day and then the boys will be ready to go again.”