Odean Smith lets out a roar after claiming a wicket against MI. Pic: IPLT20.COM
After conceding two sixes against GT, which cost the franchise the match, Smith redeemed himself by claiming three wickets in the last over against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Wednesday in Pune. PBKS won the game by 12 runs as MI finished on 186 for 9 in a chase of 199.
At a post-match conference, the West Indian cricketer was asked what kind of motivation he received from the coach and captain following his disappointing performance against Gujarat. Smith asserted:
“They have been very motivating. They have helped me mentally to be able to come into this game and put in the performance today. They have been a major help for me. I would like to thank the coach.”
Speaking specifically about PBKS captain Agarwal, the 25-year-old hailed him and added:
“Captain Mayank has been amazing. He has always come to me and told me that he is backing me a 100 percent, no matter what happens. It’s just for me to believe that I can do it because I have the belief of the entire team behind me.”
Despite struggling in the last over against GT, Smith was given the responsibility of bowling the last six balls against MI as well. The opponents needed 22 off 6 balls, which turned into 16 off 5 after Jaydev Unadkat clattered the first ball for six. However, the bowler held his nerve and hit back with three wickets.
On what went through his mind ahead of the final over, the youngster said:
“Shikhar (Dhawan) told me I was probably going to bowl the last over, so I had made my plans – what I was going to do. I asked him a few questions about what the batters would do. So I was clear going out there. I backed my best balls and just went with the plan.”
Before claiming three scalps in the last over, the pacer had also sent back Dewald Brevis for 49. He finished with figures of 4 for 30.
“I consider myself to be a bowling all-rounder” – Odean Smith gives clarity on his role for PBKS
Despite being a clean striker of the cricket ball, Smith is coming into bat as low as number seven, after the likes of Shahrukh Khan and Jitesh Sharma. Asked to shed light on his role in the PBKS setup, the West Indian clarified:
“I consider myself to be a bowling all-rounder. I have good batting capabilities. So my role is to go out there and basically finish games. I help the team to get to a good total.”
Smith was the Player of the Match for his 8-ball 25* against RCB in Punjab’s first match of IPL 2022. However, he hasn’t had much to do with the bat since.