IPL 2014 news March 10, 2014

Watson to lead Rajasthan Royals

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shane Watson has been appointed captain of Rajasthan Royals for the 2014 edition of the IPL. Watson will take over from Rahul Dravid, who retired from all forms of cricket after leading Royals to the Champions League T20 final in October 2013. Dravid formed one-third of the core group that settled on the decision, along with head coach Paddy Upton and Royals CEO Raghu Iyer.

Watson has been with Royals from the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, and was one of the five players retained by the franchise for this year's tournament. He has represented them in 61 matches, the second-most after Siddharth Trivedi. He has scored 1887 runs for his franchise at an average of 38.51 and a strike-rate of 143.82, and has also taken 54 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.27. Watson was instrumental in Royals' title win in 2008 and was named Player of the Tournament for his 472 runs and 17 wickets.

"I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals, an extraordinary team which has always given me amazing opportunities," Watson said. "My aim will be to continue playing our best cricket and maintain the winning momentum. We all want to repeat the 2008 IPL success and last season, we were quite close to that. I am confident that we can do it again"

Dravid will continue to be involved with Royals in a mentoring role, and will guide youth and talent development initiatives for the franchise. "Watson has been with the team since the first season and is familiar with the players and the staff," he said. "The Royals Squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their roles perfectly well and I am sure they will thrive under Watson's inspiring leadership."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • soumyas on March 14, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    Australian cricketers are getting the credits they deserved which they didn't get when playing for their nation...lot of Indian cricketers are also getting the credits back in IPL which were due for them in when playing for nation...good to see, one of the positives of IPL.

  • Sid on March 11, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    Debatable decision by the RR Mgmt. Watson, no doubt, is their best player & has the best profile which might have influenced this call. However, he is moody and temperamental, which is not good for a captain. To add to that he hasn't really been a big match player for RR in the recent IPL Seasons and his nerves will be tested in tough situations. I think Steven Smith could've been considered, given he's won the Big Bash before. That would have also taken away the extra responsibility from the already burdened Watson. One may argue that he may not get a permanent place in the side - but really?? He's one of the best finishers in the world and they could've easily rotated Hodge/Southee/Cooper & Faulkner (who may not be as useful a striker in spinning conditions like we saw last time round & is usually very expensive with the ball).

  • narwadeshwar on March 11, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Hodge/Smith both would have been a better choice but they will be competing each other for a place in playing 11. Hence good choice.

  • Abhishek on March 11, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    Watson is the best player in RR squad and is very experienced player of the team. So it is great decision to make him the captain....

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    Talk of smith being a future aus captain makes me ill!!!

  • Varun on March 10, 2014, 22:24 GMT

    Playing 11 should be : Rahane Chand Samson Watson (C) Binny Hodge Faulkner Bhatia Southee / Cooper Tambe Malik

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    he can be a good option for leading the team but his main concern is his fitness..

  • Ramya on March 10, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    RR is one of those teams that will be loved for their sheer will power! Watto is a good choice based on the fact that he has been with the team from the very first year! He is as synced with RR as Malinga is with Mumbai! With Rahul Dravid as their mentor, there will be much excitement on store for RR fans! Hoping for an interesting IPL season as I feel this time - all teams are equally matched - anyone can be the winner of IPL Season 7

  • Dummy4 on March 10, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    Feels smith is a better potential leader then watto, but watson and faulkner seems to be only 2 overseas player who have a guaranteed place in playing XI. Wont be surprised if we see smith leading in coming editions, once he settle down at RR Camp.

  • Shiv on March 10, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    In the absence of Rahul, I think this is a fair call. Watson is a good all rounder and a must in the Playing XI, he has captained Aus in the past as well. So I think Its a good decision.

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