Steven Smith

Warm emotions flowed on Sunday in the social media circle, as Steven Smith, Rising Pune Supergiant skipper, opened his heart to express gratitude to the Indian crowd for the support they extended during his time in the IPL.

After spending close to four months in India, Smith now prepares to leave the country after the conclusion of the IPL final. His side is currently engaged in the title clash with Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad

Smith wrote in the post on Instagram:

“The last 4 months here in India have been incredible. There has been some ups and downs along the way but I’ve learnt such a great deal.

“The Test matches were tough but so enjoyable to be a part of. I’ve met some wonderful people, and I’ve made some new friends.

“The IPL and playing with Pune has been a terrific experience and I look forward to spending my last night here in India battling it out in the Final. Thank you to everyone here in India that has made this trip so unforgettable. #grateful #opportunity”

Smith arrived in India as an opponent with his Australian squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The hard-fought series was laden with controversies involving Smith himself. The DRS-gate which saw Indian skipper Virat Kohli indirectly take some rough shots at Smith highlighted the entire tour.

The Aussies, especially Smith had turned into some sort despicable characters and it was doubted whether the visitors will receive any support in the IPL. However, the IPL played its magic and suddenly the past was buried. Smith & Co received a warm reception and a great deal of support from the Indian supporters.

Smith has been receiving great appreciation for his leadership abilities. Pune was touted as the least favourites to make the playoffs. However, the 27-year-old turned the tables and transformed the underdogs into title favourites.

Experienced names like Ben Stokes and Imran Tahir along with rising domestic names like Washington Sundar, Rahul Tripathi and Manoj Tiwary played a key role. He made sure to mention their contribution as well in one of the press conferences ahead of the big finale.

“Those guys are quite young and have not played those high-pressure final games,” Smith told reporters on the eve of the IPL final against Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad on Sunday.

“That can play into your favour sometimes. They can play with freedom and do the job

“I thought Washington was absolutely fantastic the other night in Mumbai. For a 17-year-old to come out against some quality players and do what he did was outstanding.

“The young guys have been a real big part of our success so far throughout this tournament and hopefully they can have better success (Sunday) night.

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