Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has hinted that batsman Steve Smith might pull out of the Indian Premier League 2021 citing injury after being picked for a relatively small amount at the auction. “You talk about Steve Smith – if he’s not the best batsman in the world, he’s not far away. Virat Kohli is number one, but Smithy is in the top three," Clarke said on the Big Sports Breakfast Podcast. "I know his T20 performances haven’t been as good as he would have like – last year’s IPL he wasn’t great. I’m very surprised he has gone for the amount of money he has, just under $400,000 – which is still good money. "But when you look at what he was getting (last season) and his role as captain of Rajasthan, don’t be surprised if there’s a little hamstring strain the day the plane is meant to fly to India.
"For him to go away for an eight-week tournament and quarantine before the tournament starts call it 11 weeks. I don’t think he is going to give up 11 weeks away from his family and his partner for $380,000. "I’m really interested to see if he gets a tight hamstring and doesn’t go. Or if it goes the other and he says I do wan't to go and play in this T20 World Cup and I do want to get picked up for more money in the next IPL. I am going to go there, I don't care for the money and will prove people wrong. "In this T20 career, Smith has hit 4438 runs in 209 matches at a decent average of 30.60. Smith was also the captain of Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 but the team ended up finishing last in the points table. The franchise released Smith and now he will turn for last-years runners-up in Delhi Capitals. Smith has scored 2333 runs from 95 matches in the IPL while hitting 311 from 14 games last season. Steve Smith was picked up by Delhi Capitals for just ₹2.2 crore in the recently-concluded auctions.