Smith was released by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. The Delhi Capitals acquired him for an unexpectedly cheap price of ₹2.2 crores.
While reviewing the Delhi Capitals squad during a discussion on Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir pointed out Steve Smith is unlikely to figure in their first XI. He reasoned the Shreyas Iyer-led side already has a plethora of top-order batsmen.
"Steve Smith doesn't fit into the Delhi Capitals playing XI. They are probably too top heavy, where are they going to push him. They have got Shikhar Dhawan, who was in very good form, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant," said Gambhir.
The former Delhi Capitals skipper also highlighted the franchise's four overseas spots in the playing XI are almost confirmed.
"They will definitely play Shimron Hetmyer in the middle order and Marcus Stoinis. Anrich Nortje and Rabada did really really well for them. Now they have got Chris Woakes as well. So, I don't see him actually in the playing XI," added Gambhir.
"The Delhi Capitals are a little thin on the wrist spin" - Gautam Gambhir
The 39-year-old observed the only saving grace for the Delhi Capitals was that they acquired Steve Smith, along with Umesh Yadav and Sam Billings, at a very low price.
"The only good thing is they have got all these players at a very cheap price. Had they bought Steve Smith at a very high price, I wouldn't feel very happy with it. Most of these are steal buys, especially Umesh Yadav, Steve Smith at 2 CR and Sam Billings," said Gambhir.
Gautam Gambhir rated the Delhi Capitals squad at eight-and-a-half on a scale of ten. He pointed to the lack of depth in the wrist-spin department as an area of concern for them.
"Eight and a half. The reason is that I still feel they are a little thin on the wrist spin because Mishra's fitness is not sure, they have let go of someone like Sandeep Lamichhane. Had they gone for someone like Piyush Chawla and they would have got him, I would have given them nine," signed off Gambhir.
Amit Mishra is the only experienced leg-spinner in the Delhi Capitals squad. Although they have a backup in the form of Praveen Dubey, he is a relative greenhorn at this level.
However, with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel almost guaranteed members of their playing XI, the Delhi Capitals seem to have most of their bases covered in the spin department.