Steve Smith is arguably the best batsman in the world with his ability to bat as per requirement in any format of the game. There is a see-saw battle that he enjoys with another top-class batsman in Virat Kohli as the duo often spearhead the ICC rankings.
However, off late, Smith's ability to score quickly in the shortest format of the game has come under the scanner. And the impact of that was fell during the recent IPL 2021 auction, of which the former Rajasthan Royals skipper was forced to be part of after he was laid off by his franchise. The Aussie batsman, who had a pricetag of Rs 2 crore, went to Delhi Capitals for a steal as he could only fetch Rs 2.20 crore at the auction.
While many couldn't believe Delhi's luck on getting a top-quality batsman for cheap, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke fears that Smith may find an excuse to opt-out from the IPL as the money is too low for him to spend so much time away from home.
“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 liked – 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.
"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 want 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."