Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith started out as a leg-spinner who could bat slightly. However, in the years to come, the Australian turned himself into one of the best batsmen in the world. Smith made his IPL debut in 2012 for the Pune Warriors India and has been a part of the IPL ever since. On Wednesday, Steve Smith completed four years of smashing his maiden IPL hundred.
In the 25th match of the IPL 2016, the Rising Pune Supergiant were hosting the Gujarat Lions at the MCA's Stadium in Pune. After Suresh Raina won the toss, he asked MS Dhoni's men to bat first at their home ground. RPS opener Saurabh Tiwary perished quickly for 1 and Steve Smith came in to bat at No.3. Smith held his end beautifully and attacked the Gujarat bowlers with his unconventional strokes and beautiful timing. Even Shivil Kaushik, a Paul Adams-esque spinner, had no answer for Smith, who dispatched him with ease.
Steve Smith formed a 111-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane before the latter lost his wicket. With captain MS Dhoni as his batting partner, Smith put on 64 where he raced to his maiden IPL hundred in just 53 balls. Smith's innings consisted of 8 fours and 5 sixes. Here is the highlight reel for Smith's maiden IPL hundred.
(Video courtesy: BCCI)
Smith's efforts, however, went in vain as the Gujarat Lions chased down the total of 195 that RPS had made. The Supergiant struggled for form in IPL 2016 and ended up seventh in the points table with only five wins out of fourteen games. MS Dhoni was sacked as RPS captain in the next season and Steve Smith led the team. Under his leadership, the team reached the finals of IPL 2017 where they lost to the Mumbai Indians.
In 2018, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings returned after serving their bans and MS Dhoni resumed captaining Chennai. Steve Smith was then appointed as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals. On the other hand, RPS and Gujarat Lions became erstwhile teams.
The IPL 2020 has currently been suspended and the T20 World Cup also seems highly doubtful.