IPL 2012: Ashwin's words motivated me to do well against Chennai, says Steven Smith

Steven Smith scored 44 off 22 balls to help Pune Warriors India get past the the target set by Chennai Super Kings AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Pune: 15 Apr, 2012

Pune Warriors India all-rounder Steve Smith on Sunday said his verbal spat with Chennai Super Kings spinner R Ashwin motivated him to do well, and added that Ashwin’s reaction was ‘not in spirit of the game’.

Pune Warriors won their IPl 2012 match at the Subroto Roy Sahara International Stadium against Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets and moved up to the first spot in the points table.

During Pune’s chase, Smith was involved in a fierce altercation with off-spinner Ashwin. Smith claimed after the match that he was backing up a bit at the non-striking end, on which Ashwin not happy.

Smith opined that Ashwin’s reaction was not in the spirit of the game.

He said, “I guess he thought I was backing up a little bit. And as far as I am concerned, it s not in the spirit of the game. But if he wants to do that sort of a thing, it s fair enough for him.”

Smith scored a blistering 44 off 22 balls, which included three sixes and four boundaries to help Pune pip Chennai.

Smith told IPLT20.com that the verbal duel with Ashwin did motivate him. “Yeah to an extent. You always want to get your team home, and today I was really happy the way I struck the ball and I was just happy to get the team home.

The Australian all-rounder praised Jesse Ryder, who cracked a fluent 73 not out off 56 balls.

“Jesse was batting really well at the other end and played a much matured innings. When I came in, my job was to hit the ball if it s in the slot or get off the strike otherwise. I worked pretty well tonight.” Jesse Ryder scored his individual best in the IPL by striking 73 off 56 balls to take Pune to their third victory of the season.

Describing about the turn-around in this season compared to IPL 4, Smith was positive about the team strategy and praised the bowlers in keeping them in the game.

“Boys are playing some good cricket at the moment. Bowling is keeping us in a lot of games, and tonight our batting came off in the end, after some good work in the field. We got together before the start of the tournament and had some good sessions of training and preparations. We just need to play some good cricket and build on the start,” he said.

Pune Warriors India ended up at the bottom of the points table in their maiden appearance during the last IPL season.

Despite of being a handy all-rounder for Australia, Smith is yet to get a chance to swing his arm for Pune. “The boys are doing a good job. Sometime in this tournament, I might get a chance to get my arm over. But at the moment, the boys are doing a good job, and hopefully, they ll continue with that,” he said.

Smith prasied Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, and said the Pune skipper does use his advice to set up the field.

“He has been really good. I am sort of helping him out in the field a little bit with a couple of positions and who should go where. I am lucky enough to get that chance, and hopefully, we continue playing good cricket,” said Smith who was part of the Big Bash League winning team Sydney Sixers.