Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal said that they are shocked to get Steve Smith “only for Rs 2.2 crore” and feels that the Australian player will add a lot to their squad.
“It was just incredible to get Steve Smith. We are shocked about how he went only for Rs 2.2 crore, but to get a player of the calibre of Steve Smith, it’s going to add a lot to our squad, a lot to our balance. His leadership, his batting, his experience, everything. Everyone associated with Delhi is just thrilled. We discussed Smith’s name before the auction and we thought that he would go for much higher, so we had thought that if an opportunity arises, we will go for him, but we never anticipated actually getting him,” Jindal said.
Delhi Capitals acquired World Cup-winning player Smith along with exciting overseas players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 Auction held on Thursday in Chennai. Smith was bought by the Delhi-based franchise for Rs 2.2 crore, while experienced T20 players Tom Curran and Sam Billings were bought for Rs 5.25 crore and Rs 2 crore respectively. The Delhi Capitals also acquired four domestic players – Lukman Meriwala, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, and Manimaran Siddharth at their base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Reflecting on the squad, Jindal said: “I think it’s a very exciting squad yet again. Meriwala has been doing really well in the domestic tournaments and he’s an Indian left-arm quick which we didn’t have in our squad last year. He gives us an added variation and Tom Curran has the cutters, the slower ones, the quick ones and he’s very good with the bat as well, so he gives that added balance to the squad.”
The 31-year-old, Smith, who represented Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019 and IPL 2020, has scored 2,333 runs in 95 matches at an average of 35.34 in his IPL career. The batsman had a fantastic season for the Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017 when he amassed 472 runs in 15 matches.
Indian speedster Umesh Yadav, who started his IPL career with the Delhi franchise, was bought by the Capitals in the Auction for his base price of Rs 1 crore. The 33-year-old has taken 119 wickets in 121 matches in his IPL career. The fast bowler had a brilliant season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2018 when he picked up 20 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 20.90.
After a fierce bidding war with Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Delhi Capitals acquired English all-rounder Tom Curran (base price – Rs 1.5 crore) for Rs 5.25 crore. The 25-year-old, who represented Rajasthan Royals in the last season, has scored 106 runs and has taken 9 wickets in 10 matches in his IPL career. The experienced T20 player has notched 972 runs and taken 157 wickets in 134 matches in his T20 career.
Sam Billings, who was part of the Delhi franchise in IPL 2016 and IPL 2017, was bought by the Capitals for his base price of Rs 2 crore. The English wicketkeeper-batsman has scored 334 runs in 22 matches in his IPL career. The experienced T20 player has amassed 3527 runs, taken 107 catches and effected 17 stumpings in 187 matches in his T20 career.
Lukman Meriwala was acquired by the Delhi Capitals for his base price of Rs 20 lakh and he has taken 72 wickets in 44 matches at an average of 14.54 in his T20 career. The left-arm medium-fast bowler, who plays for Baroda in domestic cricket, finished as the second highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 with 15 scalps.
Players acquired by Delhi Capitals at the IPL 2021 Auction: Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Lukman Meriwala, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod and Manimaran Siddharth.
Delhi Capitals Retained players: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Praveen Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes.