Mumbai, Feb 25: Steve Smith was announced as the captain of Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season here on Saturday. The selection was made by a panel comprising Royals mentor Shane Warne, their Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha and the team's co-owner Manoj Badale. Warne, who captained the Royals to the title during the inaugural IPL, said the team will continue to play intense cricket. "We will play the Royals' brand of cricket, that is, with spirit and aggression, with which we are known to play with. I am looking forward to exciting cricket and a successful campaign," the legendary leg-spinner said. Smith, on his part, said he is looking forward to work with his legendary countryman. "It's great to be back with the Royals. It's an honour and privilege to be leading Royals and looking forward to working with the king (Shane Warne)," he remarked. Smith had been part of the Rajasthan Royals team in 2014 and 2015. In fact, it was at Rajasthan Royals where he first stepped into the shoes of a leader and later took over as Australia captain as he flourished in the role. Last season, Smith also led his team from the front guiding them to the final. He almost pulled off a successful chase with a brilliant knock in the final, but the team fell short by just one run. Smith played 15 matches and scored 472 runs last season at an average of 39.33. Rajasthan Royals will kick off their season with an away fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9, followed by a home game against the Delhi Daredevils on April 11.