IPL 2021: Ricky Ponting confirms Steve Smith’s batting position in Delhi Capitals
Smith is unlikely to get regular chances in the playing eleven this season.
Updated - Apr 7, 2021 1:50 pm
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has confirmed Steve Smith’s batting position in the team ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Smith is gearing up to play for the Delhi-based franchise for the first time in his career. Earlier this year, Rajasthan Royals had parted ways with the Australian after his poor performance as batsman and captain last year.
Later in the auction, Delhi Capitals signed him up at his base price of Rs 2 crore. With Delhi’s top-order having a settled lineup, it looks like Smith will not get regular chances in the playing eleven. But if he does, he will bat in the top-three, according to Ponting. The head coach also admitted that Smith is unlikely to get regular chances. Ponting also said that Smith is “very, very keen” to perform well in IPL 2021.
“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. So, 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,” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“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,” he added.
Great to have Steve Smith as a part of our squad: Ponting
Ricky Ponting further said that Smith’s mere presence in the Delhi Capitals camp is enough for the side, considering the knowledge the star batsman has of cricket. Ponting also expressed his excitement over working with Smith, saying that he cannot wait for it.
“(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,” said Ponting.
Delhi Capitals are eyeing their maiden IPL title this year. They had made it to the final last year and would be looking to build on the success. They, however, will be without their inspirational skipper Shreyas Iyer, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. In his absence, Rishabh Pant will be leading the team.