Playing cricket in India is incredible, says Steve Smith

The Rajasthan Royals batsman is 'eager to take the field' for the team's IPL opener.

Steve Smith: "It is great to be back around the team. I went to the (Sawai Mansingh) ground and everything looks in great shape."   -  AFP

Australia batsman Steve Smith, who is targeting a return to action in Rajasthan Royals' opening IPL 2019 match, says he enjoys playing cricket in India because the fans love the game so much.

"Both BBL and IPL are great leagues but I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here (India) because the crowd is so amazing and you get a chance to play with and against the best players in the world," Smith told the Royals' website in an interview.

Smith, who has recovered from an elbow surgery he underwent in January this year, is excited after his first hit in the nets. "It is great to be back around the team. I went to the (Sawai Mansingh) ground and everything looks in great shape. The boys are training hard and I can't wait to take the field," Smith said.

Asked about his transition from a leg-spinner to arguably one of the finest batsmen in world cricket today, Smith noted, "I played my first two Tests as a leg-spinner, then as an all-rounder but got dropped. That is when I made the decision to stop bowling and focussed on my batting instead.  It has come along nicely since then." 

Reacting to a question on his most inspirational sportsperson outside cricket, Smith said in a lighter vein, " I played a couple of rallies with Milos Raonic once, and he cranked it up against me. I got hit on the chest by the ball; it was like coping a bouncer on the body (laughs)."