Stokes unbowed by IPL pricetag - Smith
Ben Stokes has not allowed his whopping IPL price tag to put pressure on him, Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith said, after the England star's stunning century against Gujarat Lions.
Stokes came to the crease with Pune languishing on 10-3 in chase of 162 in Monday's game, but turned the tide with a superb, match-winning unbeaten 103 from just 63 deliveries - his maiden hundred in the shortest format.
The England all-rounder cost an IPL-record $2.1million in the February auction - the most ever paid for an overseas player - but has backed up that hefty pricetag with three man-of-the-match performances in their last six games, each contributing to Pune wins.
And Smith detailed the role he played in getting his Ashes rival to the franchise, having highlighted him as a must-buy player to Pune's ownership.
Smith said: "That was an amazing innings: under pressure, came in at three for nothing and to play the way he did, he timed his innings beautifully, took the game on at the right time. Fantastic knock to get us home.
"He hit some very clean balls there, chose the right balls to hit, too.
"He's always said from the start that he judges himself on how he plays. He's not going to put any extra pressure on himself just because he has a big price tag next to his name.
"We were very excited to get him. I had said before the auction to the guys [owners] just do what you have to get him.
"All-rounders are so valuable in T20 cricket and he bats, bowls and fields well. He's a perfect fit for our team, particularly after Mitchell Marsh was ruled out as well. He's done a terrific job for us.
"We paid a big amount to get him. We know he's a quality player. [He] certainly earned his cash."