IPL 2021 Auction: Will CSK buy Steve Smith as RR release the Australian star?

IPL 2021 Auction – Will CSK buy Steve Smith? Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Wednesday took a big decision of ending its captain for three seasons Steve Smith’s IPL contract for the upcoming season. The inaugural champions in its 2020 season review concluded that Smith’s weak impact as a leader and batsman featured prominently and after ‘intense discussion’ released him.

“Yes, Smith has been released. It went down to the wire, to be honest. We had discussions on the matter and the call was taken today itself,” the source explained.”

It means, the Australian star will be a hot property for the IPL 2021 auctions, which are reportedly planned for February 11. However, he will not be a cheap buy for any team.

Check full CSK retained and released players 2021 list

Smith’s current IPL value is Rs 12.5 crore. One of the teams, who might go all out to get one of the members of the ‘fab four’ club is Chennai Super Kings.

IPL 2021: Why CSK can target Steve Smith?

The three-time IPL champions CSK has released a host of batsmen in the likes of Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, and Kedhar Jadhav. It obvious the MS Dhoni-led franchise would go for an overhaul and shed its ‘Dads Army’ image after a terrible IPL 2020 season. And with a remaining purse of Rs 22.9 crore, it will want Smith to don the yellow jersey in the upcoming season.

Stephen Fleming, Dhoni and Smith have earlier played together as part of the Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 and 17 season. While Dhoni-led the side in the first season, the captaincy was handed to Smith in the second season of the franchise.

The former Australian skipper had a great season with now defunct IPL team, guiding it to the finals where it lost to Mumbai Indians by 1 run.

Dhoni would be keen to have his former teammate back with him and probably see a smooth transition of handing the captain’s cap to Smith.

IPL 2021: How CSK will benefit from Steve Smith?
If there was one thing which CSK struggled throughout the IPL 2020 season, it was the struggling top-order. Barring Faf du Plessis, the Chennai-side lacked a strong start from Shane Watson and the No.3 batsman who was continuously changed.
But with Smith in the playing XI, he will to some extent give a breathing space for the middle-order. The Australian can play as an opener and No.3 (his natural position), according to the demand of the team.
It is likely he will be given his natural spot in the CSK starting XI, with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis taking the opening slots. Suresh Raina will be back at No.4 spot with the middle-order with Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni.

IPL 2021: Steve Smith’s performance in IPL 2020

One of the most prolific run-scorers in world cricket, Smith also did not have a good tournament with the bat in the previous IPL season which was said to be one of the main reasons behind RR’s poor show in the tournament. Smith got his IPL 2020 campaign off to a good start with back-to-back fifties, but both knocks came at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium – which was the smallest of the three venues in UAE.

Smith then struggled for rhythm as RR witnessed a downward spiral in the tournament. Smith has played all the 14 league matches, scoring 311 runs at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries. In his absence, Rajasthan Royals have named the young Sanju Samson as the skipper.