IPL 2015

Not a specialist batsman, can still bowl if required: Steve Smith

The 24-year-old talks about his bowling skills and asserts that he is ready to bowl whenever called upon.

Written by Sahil Malhotra | May 17, 2014 12:50 pm

The year-old has amassed 147 runs in the ongoing IPL tournament from 10 matches. (IPL/BCCI) Batting down the order for RR, Smith has scored 147 runs in the 10 matches he has played so far in the ongoing IPL7 tournament. (IPL/BCCI)

A player who came into the limelight with his leg-spin, Steve Smith doesn’t roll his arm that often now. However, the Aussie is confident about his skills, and in an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, asserts that he is ready to bowl whenever called upon.

Q: How has been your stint with Rajasthan Royals so far?

It has been good. I have enjoyed since I have come here. Every one has been very welcoming. Just the way everything is planned out and done for a reason. The way they are set up for their cricket is quite interesting.

Q: Is it comforting to have a lot of Australian players in the squad?

It’s nice to have few people here who I have known for a while. Obviously Watto (Shane Watson) is a good leader and good person to have around. It’s been good so far.

Q: You haven’t faced that many balls this edition. Do you want to bat up the order?

I think the plan Rajasthan have for me and Hodge is to bat down the end and do the job for us. That’s the way they are thinking and that’s how they go about their business. I probably don’t have much of a say in it.

Q: Leg-spin, a skill which got you into the scheme of things for Australia, is not seen that often now. Have you made peace with the role of a specialist batsman or do you still consider yourself as an all-rounder?

I wouldn’t say I am a specialist batsman. The bowling is still there, and if called upon, it can be used. At the moment I haven’t bowled at all in this tournament. But you never know, at time I might get called upon and take a few wickets and keep the runs to the minimum.

Q: Are you confident enough to bowl?

Yes, I am. I actually said to Watto to give me a crack one game against Chennai when the ball was spinning. It didn’t happen but I am keen to bowl if I need to.

Q: How’s it interacting with the younger lot in the team?

They are a very keen and good group. They ask a lot of questions. I have spoken to Karun Nair and am trying to work with him. It’s been good. He’s a quality young player and the one who will say a load in the future.

Q: How is Rahul Dravid as mentor of the RR unit?

Dravid is hugely respected among cricketing circles. To have him on board, to mentor all the young Indian players particularly, has been very beneficial. I have enjoyed working with him so far, and hopefully will keep picking his brain in the future.

Q: How different was the UAE leg?

I think the wickets are just slightly different and a couple of grounds there were quite big. You probably don’t see that quiet as much here. So that makes a little bit of difference. It was nice to break it up a little bit and play for a couple of weeks over there and just play somewhere different and get used to different conditions. It’s nice to be back in India though with the big crowds and the all people coming out to watch the game.

Q: Any team you think is a major title contender?

I think that Chennai are a quality side. They know how to win. They have done it a lot of times, and they have been involved in the final in most of the IPLs. They are a quality outfit and tough to beat. I think they are the one to beat.

Q: Do you think IPL has become an important tournament now? It was seen in the T20 World Cup that the players regularly playing this tournament were at ease in the shortest format of the game.

I think it’s a very beneficial tournament to be a part of. During my last two years at Pune, I have learnt a hell of a lot about how to play my cricket, particularly batting in the middle overs in different situations. Because you play so many games in a short period of time, you face the same situations over and over again and I think that’s the best way to learn. You might mess it up the first time but when you get in that situation again you can get through because you have been there before, and I guess failed. It’s a great learning experience for all cricketers.

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