An indifferent run which saw the Royals lose six of their eight clashes so far proved to be expensive for Rahane with the franchise adopting a fresh approach in a bid to raise their play-off hopes.
It is not the first instance of a franchise replacing the captain midway through the season.
Here, we take a look at some of the more notable captaincy changes in IPL’s history.
GILCHRIST REPLACES LAXMAN (2008)
The very first captaincy upheaval occurred in the inaugural edition itself with VVS Laxman stepping down from the now defunct Deccan Charger’s captaincy.
The right-hander had been picked as the franchise’s icon player in the preceding auction but his own form was suspect while the team continued to face loss after loss.
Laxman was then out for a large stretch with an injury where Adam Gilchrist took over the reins before the team management ultimately decided to appoint the Aussie on a full-time basis. It did little to change Deccan Charger’s fortunes with the side finishing bottom of the table with just two wins in 14 games.
KOHLI IN FOR VETTORI (2012)
Royal Challengers Bangalore
While he was appointed as the full-time skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013, Virat Kohli took charge for eight matches in the 2012 edition after Daniel Vettori’s dismal showings.
The New Zealand spinner was replaced from the playing XI altogether with Kohli appointed in his place. The now India skipper’s brief 2012 tenure was a highly successful one with the team stringing together six wins under his captaincy before narrowly missing out on play-off qualification.
The India superstar has retained that captaincy ever since but a maiden IPL title continues to elude RCB.
WHITE REPLACES SANGAKKARA (2012)
In what was the first instance of a skipper voluntarily stepping down from his role in the IPL, Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara stepped down midseason following his poor individual form.
Australia all-rounder Cameron White was then appointed to the vacant rule but it still failed to bring about a desired turnaround for the franchise who finished ninth in the 10-team competition.
PONTING DROPS HIMSELF FOR ROHIT (2013)
Mumbai Indians skipper Ricky Ponting took a cue from Sangakkara’s selfless act in the subsequent edition after scoring just 52 runs with the bat in the first six matches of the campaign.
The Australian legend’s decision to step down proved to be a masterstroke with Mumbai stitching together a fairytale run under new skipper Rohit Sharma.
The franchise won eight of the 10 remaining league fixtures to sneak into the play-offs before beating Chennai Super Kings in the final to claim their maiden IPL title. Rohit has since added two more titles to Mumbai’s kitty.
SMITH REPLACES WATSON (2015)
Smith replacing Rahane is not the first the Australia batsman has taken over midway through an IPL campaign for Rajasthan.
The top-order batsman had done something similar in the 2015 edition with the franchise when his compatriot Shane Watson decided to step down quietly in a bid to concentrate on his own form.
Under Smith, the Royals did enjoy a late surge before missing out on play-off qualification after a dramatic loss to Mumbai Indians.
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