IPL 5: Who is Steve Smith?

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Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012, 12:17 [IST]
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IPL 5: Who is Steve Smith?

Bangalore, May 12: Pune Warriors all-rounder Steve Smith became the second youngest captain in Indian Premier League history when he led his team against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday night.

Australia's Smith, at the age of 22 years and 344 days, is behind India's Virat Kohli. Smith will turn 23 on June 2.

Kohli is the youngest to lead a side in IPL when he was in charge of RCB in 2011 when he was 22 years and 187 days.

Smith, a legspinner from New South Wales, was looked at as a talented spinner who could be a possible replacement for the legend Shane Warne.

Smith was marked as a great talent in Australia at a very young age. He was not only an impressive spinner but also a fine batsman and a brilliant fielder. All these qualities qualify him as one of the finest all-rounders in the shorter versions of the game.

The youngster's brush with IPL came in 2010 when he was signed up by RCB as a replacement player for Jesse Ryder of New Zealand. Later, in 2011, he was bought in the auction by the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala for $200,000. However, an ankle surgery put paid to his chances of playing last year.

In 2012, right-handed Smith was brought in by Pune as a replacement player for another Australian, Mitchell Marsh. In IPL 5, he has accumulated 325 runs in 13 innings. This is team's second highest individual total score behind Robin Uthappa's 391. Smith has hit 14 sixes so far, the highest among Pune batsmen and has a strike rate of 137.71 and team's best average of 40.62.

So far, he has played 5 Tests, 29 ODIs and 20 Twenty20 Internationals for Australia. He has not enjoyed much success in the longer format, taking only three wickets and scoring 259 runs. He has 343 runs and 22 wickets in ODIs. In T20Is, he has so far tallied 165 runs and 17 wickets. Overall, he has played 73 T20s, scoring 1,052 runs and taking 51 wickets.

He plays for Sydney Sixers in the Australian Big Bash T20 League. He made his first class debut for New South Wales against Western Australia in 2008.

Smith made his Test debut against Pakistan in Lord's in 2010. Few months earlier, he had played his first ODI for Australia against West Indies in Melbourne. In the same month, February, 2010, he was handed his T20I cap against Pakistan in Melbourne.

In the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in 2010, Smith bagged seven wickets in seven matches which was joint second highest wicket-taker. Australia lost to England in the final.


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