Expressing his excitement to join last year’s runners up Delhi Capitals, star Australian batsman Steve Smith has said that he was hoping to lead the side to its maiden title triumph in the upcoming 2021 season of the Indian Premier League.

“I am really excited about joining the team this year. I think the squad has a great set of players and has a great coach and I look forward to getting over there and creating some amazing memories, and hopefully, help the team go one better than last year. Can’t wait guys,” Smith said.

Smith, the premier Australian batsman was picked for just Rs 2.2 crore by the Delhi Capitals franchise at Thursday’s auction in Chennai.l

He captained the Rajasthan Royals in the last edition of the IPL. But he was released by the franchise for below-par performance in 2020. RR, who retained Smith in 2018 for Rs 12.5 crore, finished at the bottom in the points table in IPL 2020 under his captaincy.

Smith, 31, made 311 runs at 25.91 in last year’s IPL in 14 matches, scoring just three half-centuries.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals (DC) had said that they were “shocked” after picking Steve Smith for as cheap as Rs 2.2 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 auction on Thursday.

The franchise expressed happiness that the Australia’s number one batsman would provide “balance” to a team that is yet to win an IPL title in the history of the tournament.

“It was just incredible to get Steve Smith. We are shocked about how he went only for Rs 2.2 crore, but to get a player of the calibre of Smith, it’s going to add a lot to our squad, a lot to our balance — his leadership, his batting, his experience, everything. Everyone associated with Delhi is just thrilled,” DC co-owner Parth Jindal said.

“We discussed Smith’s name before the auction and we thought that he would go for much higher, so we had thought that if an opportunity arises, we will go for him, but we never anticipated actually getting him,” he said, still to get over the “shock”.

Kiran Kumar Grandhi, chairman of DC, was also ecstatic. “Smith is a good player and he is a good buy. We have enough options, which we can use against various teams,” he said.