Delighted to join last edition’s runners up Delhi Capitals, star Australian batsman Steve Smith is hopeful of guiding the side to its maiden title triumph in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. The 31-year-old, who was released by Rajasthan Royals, was acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 crore at the IPL auctions last week.
“I am really excited about joining the team this year. I think the squad has a great set of players and has a great coach and I look forward to getting over there and creating some amazing memories, and hopefully, help the team go one better than last year. Can’t wait guys,” Smith said in a video posted by DC.
The prolific right-hand batsman, who joined the Rajasthan Royals franchise in 2019, captained the side in the 2020 edition in the UAE, where they finished last. Smith has scored 2,333 runs in 95 matches at an average of 35.34 in the IPL. The batsman had a fantastic season for the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017 when he amassed 472 runs in 15 matches. At Delhi Capitals, Smith will reunite with his 2011 World Cup captain Ricky Ponting, who is the head coach of the side.
Gambhir and Clarke on Smith’s auction
“Steve Smith doesn’t fit into the Delhi Capitals playing XI. They are probably too top-heavy, where are they going to push him. They have got Shikhar Dhawan, who was in very good form, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports while analysing the auctions.
The former KKR captain added that he does not see Smith being one of the four overseas players to get a game for Delhi. The price that Smith got in the IPL 2021 auctions astonished former Australia captain Michael Clarke, who even suggested that the batsman might not play in the tournament due to the low price and the quarantine before the league starts.
“I know his T20 performances haven’t been as good as he would have like – last year’s IPL he wasn’t great. I’m very surprised he has gone for the amount of money he has, just under $400,000 – which is still good money. But when you look at what he was getting (last season) and his role as captain of Rajasthan, don’t be surprised if there’s a little hamstring strain the day the plane is meant to fly to India,” he had said.