Steve Smith is indeed one of the finest batsmen in the modern era, and his numbers are impressive in all forms of cricket. The Australian star can play the anchor role, and his ability to score runs quickly makes him a great asset. A batsman of such calibre isn’t likely to warm the benches for long. However, that can happen with Smith in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). Last season finalist Delhi Capitals (DC) bought the right-handed batsman for INR 2.2 crore after Rajasthan Royals released him following a poor IPL 2020 campaign. Steve Smith Excited to Join Delhi Capitals for IPL 2021, Says he Can’t Wait to Work With Ricky Ponting.
Leading the Jaipur-based franchise, the dasher scored 311 runs in 14 games at an average of below 26. Smith’s captaincy tactics weren’t also great as Rajasthan Royals were last in the final team standings. RR subsequently let go of Smith, with Sanju Samson taking over the captaincy role. Although the Aussie talisman had a rather dismal IPL 2020, he was expected to go big under the hammer, given his impressive record. On the contrary, DC bagged Smith’s services for INR 2.2 crore, a mere 20 lakh more than his base price. While several fans and experts called the buy an absolute steal, it is very much possible that Smith might not get a single game in IPL 2021. Here’s Why! IPL 2021: Steve Smith Might Pull Out of Indian Premier League Due to Less Money, Says Michael Clarke.
1. Delhi Capitals’ Settled Top Order
Although Smith is capable of scoring runs quickly, it wouldn’t be wise to make him bat below four in T20s. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have formed DC’s top four in the last two seasons, and the side is likely to continue with the same combination. Moreover, Marcus Stoinis can also open the batting for Delhi, whereas former Rajasthan Royals captain Ajinkya Rahane is also in contention to get a place in the top four. Hence, if all these players remain fit throughout the season, we wouldn’t see Smith taking the field.
2. Slots for Overseas Players Occupied
Only four foreign players can feature in a line-up in IPL, and this is another reason whey Smith won’t get any chance. South African pace duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were phenomenal last season, and only injuries can keep them away from the field. Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was Delhi’s another key player last season while West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer would occupy the remaining spot. England all-rounders Tom Curran and Chris Woakes are also in contention to get a place in the playing XI.
3. Steve Smith’s Form Last Season
Last but not least, Smith’s dismal campaign in IPL 2020 might keep him away from playing XI. Although the 31-year-old played a couple of handy knocks, he didn’t deliver consistently. He struggled against the spinners particularly. With Delhi playing the majority of their games in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, the team management might not be keen to get Smith in the scheme of things.
As mentioned above, Delhi were last season finalist, but they failed to get the glory, with Mumbai Indians emerging victorious in the summit clash. Nevertheless, the Shreyas Iyer-led side would be determined to cross the final hurdle this time around. IPL 2021 is scheduled to take place behind closed doors between April 9 and May 30.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 23, 2021 07:38 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).