Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir went on to analyse the Delhi Capitals squad post the IPL 2021 mini-auction. He said that Australia’s Steve Smith- who represented Rajasthan Royals last year – does not fit in the Capitals’ playing XI considering the strong foreign base they cradle.
What Gautam Gambhir Said About Steve Smith Post The IPL Auction?
While Steve Smith going under the hammer made big noise ahead of the auction, the Aussie’s price – Rs 2.20 crore – couldn’t follow up on the hype. As the first player to be auctioned on Thursday, Smith didn’t see much contest between the eight teams as he went for only a little over his base price of Rs 2 crore.
Commenting on the team selection and Smith’s role, Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports, “Without a doubt, Steve Smith does not fit into the Delhi Capitals playing XI. They are probably too heavy at the top of the batting order. They will not know where to put him. They have got Shikhar Dhawan, who was in very good form the last term. To add to that, they have Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant.”
Capitals have Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje filling their foreign slot already. Due to this, Gambir believes that Smith doesn’t seem to get a break amongst them.
“They will definitely play Shimron Hetmyer in the middle order. Further, Marcus Stoinis, Anrich Nortje and Rabada did really really well for them too. Now they have got Chris Woakes as well. So, I do not really see him actually in the playing XI.”
Despite his skepticism on Steve Smith’s selection, the former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper lauded the team management to have managed to rope in some quality in Umesh Yadav and Sam Billings for a relatively lower price.
What The Former Indian Opener And World Cup Winner Went On To Add?
He said, “The only good thing is they have got all these players at a very cheap price. Had they bought Steve Smith at a very high price, I would not feel very happy with it. Most of these are steal buys, especially Umesh Yadav, Steve Smith at 2 CR and Sam Billings.”
Further rating the team’s performance out of a hundred Gambhir pointed out the lack of wrist spin options. He said that despite Amit Mishra – their go-to spinner – available, Ponting can’t really bank on his form.
What Clarke Said On The Big Sports Breakfast Podcast About The Same?
“You talk about Steve Smith. Mention him as if he is not the best batsman in the world. Obviously, he is not too far away. Virat Kohli is number one, but Smithy is in the top three for sure. I know that his T20 performances have not been that good. They have not been as good as he would have liked. To add to that his from last year’s IPL was not great too.”
“Still, I am very surprised he has gone for the amount of money he has. That is just under $400,000 – which is still good money. Despite that, when you look at what he was getting (last season), along with his role as captain of Rajasthan, it does not really surprise me if there is a little hamstring strain.”
“Especially, the day the plane is meant to fly to India. For him to go away for an eight-week tournament and quarantine before the tournament starts – call it 11 weeks. I do not think he is going to give up 11 weeks away from his family and his partner for $380,000. I am really interested to see if he gets a tight hamstring and does not go. Or if it goes the other way and he comes up and says I do want to go. That is, I do not want to play in this T20 World Cup. Do want to get picked up for more money in the next IPL. I am going to go there. I do not really care for the money and will prove people wrong.”