IPL 2021: It has been witnessed over the years that the exciting foreign players are always the talk of the town during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction event and something similar happened this year as well. South Africa’s Chris Morris became the most expensive pick in the history of the IPL after Rajasthan Royals (RR) bought him for a gigantic price of INR 16.25 crores while Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson fetched amazing deals worth 14.25 and 15 crores respectively by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). However, surprisingly, former Aussie captain Steve Smith who was released by RR ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, didn’t attract too many bids this year and was bought by the Delhi Capitals (DC) for Rs 2.2 crores.
Australia’s premier batsman Steve Smith was the skipper of the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 where he was getting a whopping amount worth INR 12.5 crores, however, the team ended the season with the wooden spoon. Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has come out with a very controversial statement in which he has stated that Smith could make a false injury excuse in order to skip the upcoming IPL season.
“I know his T20 performances haven’t been as good as he would have liked. Last year’s IPL 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,” said Michael Clarke on the Big Sports Breakfast Podcast after calling Smith among the top three batsmen in the world.
“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 added.
In the 2020 IPL edition that took place in the UAE, Smith scored a total of 311 runs from 14 matches which included three fifties. His overall T20 numbers are also not that threatening, however, Clarke feels Smith is surely one of three top batters in the world at this moment and is not far behind Indian captain Virat Kohli.
“You talk about Steve Smith – if he’s not the best batsman in the world, he’s not far away. Virat Kohli is number one, but Smithy is in the top three,” Clarke concluded.
It will be quite interesting to look at how the Delhi Capitals’ go about their team combination this year with two of their premier overseas fast bowlers in Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje set to miss the first few games due to national duty. Steve Smith is likely to bat number three with captain Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to follow. In the absence of Rabada and Nortje, DC will most likely start with Marcus Stoinis, Steve Smith, Chris Woakes and Shimron Hetmyer as their four overseas cricketers.
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