Steven Smith credits IPL for international success
Stand-in Test captain Steven Smith is widely seen as the face of Australian cricket’s future after his sterling showings in recent months. In fact, his country’s middle order has become so dependant on him in such a short span of time that he was awarded the ODI and Test Player of the Year awards and the Allan Border Medal in a ceremony last week.
From being a leg spinner who could contribute with the bat when he made his debut, Smith has clearly become the most indispensable element in the Australian batting line-up for the 2015 World Cup.
The 25-year-old right-hand batsman credited his stint in the Indian Premier League for the maturity he has been able to show in recent times.
IPL an ideal platform: Smith
Smith said, "Playing in that tournament you learn a lot about yourself because you are playing every second day. You get faced with a lot of similar situations and if you don't quite get the team over the line that day, you learn from it and face the same situation a couple of days later. I think it's a great learning experience for any young cricketer.”
Pointing out that modern day batsmen need to be able to adapt at short notices, Smith said that the high-pressure high-octane IPL therefore is an ideal platform for grooming young cricketers for the international stage.
“It's a great tournament to be involved in. I have to pay a lot of credit to the IPL for where I am today, particularly in one-day cricket.”
Smith will play for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2015. He had his breakthrough season in 2012, while turning out for Pune Warriors in a side captained by Sourav Ganguly. In his first match for the Pune outfit, a 32-ball 39 had earned him the Man of the Match Award – the first of many recognitions to have followed.