Michael Clarke hinted that Steve Smith might pull out of the upcoming IPL, citing an excuse like a 'hamstring issue' given his low auction price. Smith was supposed to garner a lot of interest in the latest auction, but he was bought for just over his base price at INR 2.2 crores by Delhi Capitals.
Steve Smith saw his stocks dive down after Rajasthan Royals finished at the bottom of the points table last season. The 31-year-old was removed from captaincy and released ahead of the latest auction.
Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke was surprised that Steve Smith didn't fetch more money at the auction. He went on to hint that Smith might come up with an excuse to miss the IPL given his low price.
"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," Clarke said on the Big Sports Breakfast Podcast.
Michael Clarke is also interested to see Steve Smith's response after franchises didn't seem too keen on his services.
"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," Clarke added.
Steve Smith has played 8 seasons of IPL in his career, representing Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiants, and Royal Challengers Bangalore over the years.
Steve Smith's performance in the IPL
The Australian star played 14 games for Rajasthan Royals last season and scored 311 runs at an average of 25.91 and his strike read 131.22. His numbers weren't the worst, but given his standards and the fact that he is one of the team's star players, the Royals expected more from their former skipper.
Overall, Steve Smith has played 95 IPL games in his career, scoring 2333 runs at an average of 35.34 with his strike rate at 129.25.
It remains to be seen what kind of role he will play at his new franchise Delhi Capitals. As for Michael Clarke's predictions, we will have to wait to see how things unfold.