After BCCI shown Australian skipper Steve Smith way out of the IPL 2018 because of his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, the Rajasthan franchise has decided to appoint the South African wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen to lead the team. Rajasthan Royals has sent a formal request to BCCI for approval of Klaasen as the replacement.Most of the cricket fans are surprised with the decision as no one was expecting Klaasen to captain the Royals, but Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket for Rajasthan Royals said it was nothing of a surprise as the Protea is the man they wanted to rope in for the replacement.
Bharucha said it is in the interest of the future of the team as the management doesn’t want to have two similar players in the squad when Smith returns to the team. This is why likes of Hashim Amla and Joe Root where not picked for the role, although they were considered.
He added,”Our aim was to get someone who can play spin well because we are pretty sure that spinners will have a big role to play during the IPL. Klaasen is an amazing player of spin. And he has a vast array of shots, which tempted us to go for him. He plays the reverse sweep very well, something that will be quite useful in the IPL. His strategy against them was just amazing. Smith will be back with us next year and we did not want to end up with two similar players. Our idea was to build the team keeping three years in mind. Even after Smith is back, Klaasen will be very useful for us.”
Klaasen on the other side was surprised with the decision and gave his nod when approached to lead the team and play in IPL. He is one of the very few players who are able to triumph over the Indian wrist spinners in the T20 format. Although he is a wicket-keeper he is appointed as a specialist batsman in the team while wicket keeping role will be taken by either Jos Buttler or Sanju Samson.