Australia have suffered a huge blow in the ongoing Ashes as their batting mainstay Steve Smith has been ruled out of the fifth day of the ongoing second Ashes Test at Lord’s and the entire third Test due to concussion. Smith received a nasty blow on his neck from a Jofra Archer bouncer on day four and had to retire hurt.
Smith was batting on 80 in the 77th over of Australia’s innings when he took his off a rising delivery from Archer. The ball went on to hit Smith’s neck, sending him packing to the floor. The players rushed to his help before Australia’s doctor came rushing to the field to check on him. Fortunately, Smith stood up and walked off the field to a standing ovation.
He then bravely came out to bat and scored 12 more runs before being sent back by Chris Woakes. But now Smith has been diagnosed with concussion after reportedly sleeping well but waking up with a headache and feeling dizzy. Smith will not be allowed to train or play for six days – meaning he is unlikely to be unavailable for the third Test at Headingly, which starts August 22.
As per new concussion rules, a team can have like-to-like replacement during the match. Thus, Australia replaced Smith with Marnus Labuschagne as play continued on day five. Rain delayed the start of play at Lord’s, with England resuming 104 runs ahead in their second innings on 96/4.
Missing Smith will be a big blow for Australia. Smith has been in superb form with the bat in the series. In the series-opener, he scored centuries in both the innings at Edgbaston to help Australia win the game by 251 runs. It was the first time in 14 years that Australia won the first Test of an Ashes in England.