Former Australian skipper Steve Smith did not have a pleasing outing at the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates. Smith was leading Rajasthan Royals (RR), and he failed not only with the bat but also in the captaincy, as the Royals finished the season at the bottom of the points table.
Ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, Smith was released by Royals. During the bidding process, the New South Wales batsman was eventually bought by Delhi Capitals (DC) at his base price of INR 2.20 crore.
Smith’s arrival to DC camp also triggered a captaincy debate among the Capitals’ fans. Many supporters believed that Smith carries a lot of leadership experience, and another factor that may go in his favour is the presence of head coach Ricky Ponting in the DC squad.
However, Capitals CEO Col. Vinod Bisht has completely ruled out the possibilities of captaincy change in the team. He said the DC management trust current skipper Shreyas Iyer and will promote him to lead in the 2021 edition.
Notably, under Iyer’s captaincy, the Delhi-based franchise came third in 2019 and reached the final in the cash-rich league’s previous season.
“We back Shreyas (Iyer) when we promoted him to be the captain. Under him, the team came third in 2019 and reached the final in 2020. He is growing as a leader. I am sure the team will continue to do well under his leadership,” said Bisht, as quoted by Times of India.
Not only Smith, but DC also has few other players who have captained different IPL franchises. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin have led Royals and Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) in the lucrative league.
Bisht cited examples of Ashwin and Rahane and said the DC management expects Smith to play a mentorship role and share his wisdom with Iyer just like Ashwin and Rahane do in the team.
“Any of the seniors who come in, be it Rahane, Ashwin or Steve Smith, they have a lot of knowledge to impart to the young camp. We expect all the seniors will continue to do so, including Steve Smith,” added Bisht.