Steve Smith has achieved tremendous success in the last couple of years and has worked his way to leading Australia in all forms of the game. Smith, who now represents the Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL, is all set to work alongside Indian skipper MS Dhoni. In an interaction, Smith said that he was looking forward to working with Dhoni and also spoke on a variety of issues.
How excited are you to be involved with your third IPL franchise, Rising Pune Supergiants?
Very excited. I was with Pune a couple of years ago. We have a new franchise now, Rising Pune Supergiants. It’s nice to be involved. I think we have a relatively strong squad. Hopefully, we can play some good cricket.
You are the boss of the Australian team. How does it feel, as a senior cricketer, when you suddenly come into a side which has MS Dhoni, Kevin Pietersen, and Faf du Plessis?
It’s great that we have so much experience in international captains. Obviously, Dhoni is the one who is in charge and he will do things his way here. I am looking forward to working with him, to see how he goes about his business.
You worked with Rahul Dravid earlier when you were with Rajasthan Royals. How do you see him as a coach? There is a talk of him being involved with the Indian team…
I think he’d do a terrific job as coach of India. He is incredibly well respected right from his playing days. He’s a lovely gentleman. He’s done well with the Royals and there is no reason why he can’t be a successful international coach.
Ricky Ponting was quoted as saying he would love to coach Australia. Do you think he would be suitable for that role?
I think he could. He was a magnificent player. I was lucky enough to be able to play a few games under his captaincy. He was a magnificent leader of men, a great man and he’s had some success in his coaching career with Mumbai, last year. He’d be great to have around at any point.
What’s it with Australia and their inability to win the World T20?
Virat Kohli! He certainly didn’t help us the other day. The side we had over here was good enough to make it to the back end of that tournament. It took a special innings from Virat to end our chances. We missed our opportunity at the start of the tournament against New Zealand as well. We probably should have chased down 140 in Dharamsala.
When you started out, did you ever imagine that you would be the third-youngest to captain the Australian Test team?
Not really. You dream about those things as a kid growing up. It’s more of just playing for your country and doing well. But to be able to captain Australia is a great honour and I have really enjoyed myself in that role for a year or so. It’s been great fun and the guys have been magnificent.
What does it take to earn the respect of the Australian dressing room?
To start earning respect as a leader you have to perform and give everything, whether it’s batting or bowling and I think that’s a start. Being a good person is another one, making sure you are able to take care for your team around you, look out for others and not just worry about yourself. These are all important. You need to show that you are helping the guys around you improve. For me, it’s important that we are helping each other out and we are improving and getting better at whatever we do.