Smith's selection shock, Aussie injured
Ashton Turner replaces Steve Smith in Rajasthan side while Moises Henriques suffers an injury as Kings XI secure another win
AAP & Cricket Network
17 April 2019, 07:31 AM AEST
Rajasthan Royals have slumped to yet another IPL defeat, dealing a huge blow their hopes of reaching the play-off stages after losing by 12 runs to Kings XI Punjab.
Steve Smith and Ben Stokes were both left out of their side, with Australian Ashton Turner named in the Royals XI for the first time this season.
The selection news came after Smith was named in Australia’s World Cup squad earlier this week, meaning he will be required to leave the tournament early for Australia’s training camp in Brisbane early next month. Turner, on the other hand, was not picked for the World Cup and should be available for the remainder of the IPL.
"Only four overseas can play in IPL, hence it’s a difficult choice to make," Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane said at the toss.
"It’s important to start from scratch and stay fresh.”
Smith has been consistent during his return to the IPL without reaching great heights, passing 20 in four of his six innings and posting a top score of 73 not out.
There was further drama at the coin toss from an Australian point of view; Aussie allrounder Moises Henriques had been due to make his Kings XI debut but injured his right ankle in the warm-ups and had to be helped off the ground.
Jofra Archer, strongly tipped to be included in England's 15-man World Cup squad on Wednesday, starred with the ball for the Royals taking 3-15, including the big wicket of Chris Gayle for 30.
However, KL Rahul (52), David Miller (40) and Mayank Agarwal (26) helped Kings post a formidable total of 6-182.
The Royals started well with the bat, making up for the loss of Jos Buttler (23) by moving to 2-127 thanks to a half-century from Rahul Tripathi.
But Tripathi's departure for 50 led to a clatter of wickets with Turner out for a golden duck, Archer scoring just one and Shreyas Gopal then perishing first ball.
Stuart Binny clubbed 33 from 12 deliveries but it wasn't enough to get his side over the line as they slumped to a sixth loss of the season.