Steve Smith surprisingly went to the Delhi Capitals for just Rs 2.2 crore during the IPL 2021 auction. Regarded as one of the world’s best batsmen, Steve Smith didn’t attract much attention this year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore were one of the two teams who bid for the Australian. But RCB backed out after just one bid, which left many viewers scratching their heads.
The franchise have now divulged details on their strategy for Steve Smith, explaining why they backed out of the deal in the latest edition of Bold Diaries.
The behind-the-scenes footage provides a sensational take on why RCB backed out after just making one bid for Steve Smith. The franchise were the first team to raise the paddle for Steve Smith but didn’t make any further bids as DC got him for Rs 2.2 crore.
Although the decision seemed perplexing then, RCB’s latest video has solved the curious case of Steve Smith.
In the clip, shot before the auction, RCB's Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson explains how an opening bid for Steve Smith would help drive the Australian’s price.
He talks about how a bid for Steve Smith will help them go for Glenn Maxwell instead, as other teams would have already spent some of their purse on Steve Smith.
“Best thing we can do is make a bid early for Steve Smith, and get out. So if we can get somebody to buy somebody in that first round, it is a big win for us. I feel if we bid for him straight away, no one is going to let us get him for Rs 2 crore,” Hesson says in the clip.
They had a contingency plan in place as well. If no other franchise would have gone for him, RCB would have secured Steve Smith's services for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
“If we’re left with Steve Smith at 2 crore, it’s not the end of the world. When we look at risk-reward, it’s not a bad result," Hesson adds in the video.
RCB felt Steve Smith didn’t fit in their side
Another reason why RCB didn’t go all out for Steve Smith was because of the combination of their side.
The franchise targeted an overseas power-hitter who can bowl a few overs for them in the middle. The fact that Steve Smith doesn’t bowl anymore deterred RCB from going after him in the IPL 2021 auction.
“Smith doesn’t bowl. Very clear. Whoever bats there (after Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers) has to be able to bowl. All the stats we’re doing are around batting, but they have to be a bowling option.”
RCB’s auction plan eventually turned out perfectly for them, to some extent. They managed to raise Steve Smith's price, though not by much, and got one of their rivals to buy him.
The team then went after Glenn Maxwell and managed to get him for Rs 14.25 crore. They’ll hope their decisions pay off similarly during IPL 2021 too, as they continue the search of their first IPL title.