Australian captain Steve Smith has spent a lot of time in India this year, first with the Australian team touring the country for a four-match Test series and then as Rising Pune Supergiant’s skipper in the tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Smith said that India has almost become “his home away from home.”
“I love India, and I really enjoy being here for long periods while playing.” “We come so often, it has almost become my home away from home. I even have favourite restaurants. The food’s a bit spicy for me, but I can certainly make out the difference between North Indian cuisine and a South Indian preparation. Outside, the temperature takes a toll on you, but the warmth of the people makes up for that,” Smith was quoted as saying.
The 28-year-old who recently got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Dani Willis also said that he was amazed by the beauty of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Dharamsala.
“Dharamsala is beautiful, but I must be politically correct, and being a Rising Pune Supergiant, say Pune’s my favourite city in India!” he said, “Honestly, my second innings 100 in Pune recently is something I rate as one of my best ever and us going on to win that Test match was fantastic!”
He also admitted that he was not too sure of how he would like the country before visiting it for the first time, but the passion for cricket in India was something that amazed him.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect. But the passion people have for the game of cricket makes it so enjoyable for a professional cricketer to be here. If asked to pick one thing I love about Indians, it’d have to be their enthusiasm for everything: cricket, movies and life in general. If I have friends visiting, I’d like to take them to a cricket match…you can’t see India through my eyes without experiencing the crowds and noise at a game,” Smith added.