England all-rounder Ben Stokes and former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith may be fierce competitors when they are playing for their respective countries. But every April, the two cricketers are arguably the biggest assets that the Rajasthan Royals possess. As the India lockdown goes on, Rajasthan Royals have tried to keep their fans entertained by hosting multiple podcast episodes with spin consultant Ish Sodhi. On Tuesday, English superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes appeared on the Royals Podcast and shared some interesting insights.
Former Australia skipper and current Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith has delivered some very strong performances to become one of the greatest batsmen in modern day cricket. Smith has also earned himself a reputation for his strange, fidgety batting techniques and body language. Talking about his Royals captain on the Royals podcast, Stokes mentioned how Steve Smith is not only strange to play against but also strange to play with. "But I feel to be a genius you have to be a bit strange and he's certainly both!", Ben Stokes comically explained.
Steve Smith is known for his obsession towards batting as he admitted to practise the skill even during his downtime in a hotel room courtesy 'shadow batting', something which even greats such as Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer find incredible. His unorthodox technique, movements and routine while batting in a match, also made Stokes call him 'strange'.
Talking about Steve Smith's average of 62.8, Ben Stokes said that he could never think like Smith when it comes to batting and added that there is no right or wrong approach to the art. He comically added that despite the fierce rivalry that England shares with Australia, players like Steve Smith just force Stokes to applaud their genius. Ben Stokes also played under Steve Smith in the IPL 2017 when the Australian captained the Rising Pune Supergiant. The team lost that season's final to the Mumbai Indians.
Stokes also talked about his love for Test cricket in the interview and added how the rules for the game should not be changed as it will not be "testing" anymore. He also added how Indian captain Virat Kohli and England captain Joe Root are some of the front-runners, who are big supporters of Test cricket. Ben Stokes was supposed to be playing the IPL 2020 in India at the moment but the ongoing lockdown has led to the IPL being suspended. No further word on the tournament's future has arrived from the BCCI.