Capitals’ search for an established Indian fast bowler besides Ishant Sharma ended with Umesh Yadav going at his base price of Rs 1 cr.
Co-owner Parth Jindal said: “It was just incredible to get Steve Smith. We are shocked that he went only for Rs 2.2 crore, but to get a player of the calibre of Steve Smith, it’s going to add a lot to our squad, a lot to our balance. His leadership, his batting, his experience, everything.”
Smith is expected to add stability to an otherwise young and enigmatic batting order. Capitals craved for experience in the back end of the tournament last year when the batting line-up started to collapse despite going off to a rollicking start. They also struggled to rotate their pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje once Ishant Sharma got injured. Yadav is expected to provide depth and experience.
Capitals brought back English wicketkeeper Sam Billings for Rs 2 cr. He will be a cover for Rishabh Pant. But the franchise also ensured they had an Indian wicketkeeper in Vishnu Vinod so that they don’t have to tinker with their in-form overseas combination if Pant is to be rested or gets injured.
Last year, Capitals lost momentum midway when Pant suffered a hamstring injury and they didn’t have an Indian wicketkeeper to replace him. That disturbed their combination.