Steve Smith, the Australian maestro, was released by Rajasthan Royals(RR) and bought by Delhi Capitals(DC) for IPL 2021.
Though many expected him to earn hefty money in the cash-rich league, it came as a surprise when he was bought for INR 2.2 crores, just a little above his base price of INR 2 crores by DC. The Rishabh Pant led franchise will be hoping to make the most of Smith’s presence in the team. In an interview with cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain and DC’s head coach, revealed that Smith would bat in the top three if he finds a place in the playing eleven.” If he gets an opportunity with us — I think it will be in the top three somewhere — if he gets an opportunity, I’m sure he’ll have a great year for us,” Ponting was quoted as saying.
The Tasmanian further added that the 31-year-old will be hungry to score runs especially after he was released by his previous franchise.
“I think the fact that he’s been released from the franchise that he’s been at for a long time will make him a bit hungry as well this year,” he added.
Despite being one of the world’s top batsmen, the right-hander will have to battle it out with South Africa’s pacers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada and an Aussie teammate Marcus Stoinis for a position in the overseas spot.
Ponting even mentioned that the New South Wales batsman is keen to perform well to increase his price for the next IPL auction.
“I caught up with him (recently), he’s very, very keen to go out there and perform well. Obviously, the other side of that is there’s a big auction again next year, so if he happens to have a really good IPL this year, then I’m sure that that price is going to go up for the coming season,”asserted the 46-year-old.
However, Punter was quick to add that even if Smith doesn’t get a chance, it will be a pleasure to have him in the team, considering his immense knowledge of the game.“(It’s) great to have him as a part of our squad. As I said — even if he doesn’t play, for instance, to have someone like that around with his sort of knowledge on the game and the T20 game, will be great for our group. I can’t wait to work with him again,” Ponting concluded.
DC are set to play their first match against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on April 10 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.