Australia batsman Steve Smith was picked by Delhi Capitals (DC) for INR 2.2 crore in the recently concluded IPL 2021 auction. Smith was released by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the auction.
Smith, who had captained Rajasthan last season, wasn't a big attraction in the auction. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had bid for him at his base price but didn't continue after Delhi showed interest.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke was surprised to see Smith getting sold at a low price. He feels the Australian batsman may pull out of the tournament due to the low price and the strict quarantine before the league.
“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 said on the Big Sports Breakfast Podcast.
"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."
Clarke doesn't think the amount paid to Smith would prompt him to go away from his family for a long tournament.
"For him to go away for an eight-week tournament and quarantine before the tournament starts – call it 11 weeks. I don’t think he is going to give up 11 weeks away from his family and his partner for $380,000.
"I’m really interested to see if he gets a tight hamstring and doesn’t go. Or if it goes the other and he says I do wan't to go and play in this T20 World Cup and I do want to get picked up for more money in the next IPL. I am going to go there, I don't care for the money and will prove people wrong."
(Quotes from Big Sports Breakfast Podcast)