Vastavam web: Smith and David Warner would soon be completing their one-year international ban for their involvement in ball tampering scandal in South Africa last year. The duo spent some time with the Australian team in Dubai on invitation of coach Justin Langer and both said that they felt at home instantly with the vibes that they got from their teammates.
With rising sensation Ashton Turner unavailable for first three games for Royals due to international commitment against Pakistan, Smith along with Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer will be key overseas players for the 2008 champions. Playing for Rajasthan Royals will be a huge thing for Smith as this is the only cricket he will be playing before World Cup, where he will make an international comeback.
Royals’ bargain buy Ashton Turner however won’t be available till April 1 due to the Pakistan series. Warne expects him to push for his place among four overseas players. “He is class. You saw in Mohali what Ashton Turner can do. He is a very good leader. He has got an old head on his shoulders and is a terrific buy for RR. We always had one or two terrific buys. But I think he is playing against Pakistan in Dubai till April 1. So basically he misses the first three games. He is terrific back-up,” said Warne, who led Royals to the title during the inaugural edition.
As per Warne’s assessment, this year, Royals have put together one of their “strongest squads”. “I think when you look back to Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, they have generally been the underdogs. They haven’t always spent much money buying players. We haven’t generally had the big international or big Indian players. But I think, this year, this is the strongest squad that Royals have put together.