Australian batsman Steve Smith sat out of the first ODI against England in Manchester following an injury to the head during a practice session. Steve Smith missed the opening match of the three-match series which the tourists won by 19 runs to take the lead. Nevertheless, the good news is that the right-handed batsman has passed a couple of mandatory concussion tests successfully and could feature in the second ODI.
In place of Steve Smith, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis played at the number three spot, who impressed with a knock of 43. However, Marcus Stoinis’ innings came to an end as Mark Wood dismissed him. At the time of toss on Friday, Australian captain Aaron Finch announced that the decision to omit Steve Smith was a precautionary measure.
All-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who played an integral role in Australia’s victory, stated that the decision was the right one as it was unnecessary to risk a head injury and play. Marsh added that it gives a selection committee some headache now since the top-order came good in the first game. To conclude said that having Smith back in the line-up is excellent news and that Smith would not back down from facing rockets from English pacers. Meanwhile, left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc also complained of upper leg soreness; however, is likely to make an appearance on Sunday as Australia aim to seal the series.
“I think it was a good decision in the end. There’s no need to take unnecessary risks with head injuries. It probably gives our selection committee a few headaches now because the top order struck them beautifully, without getting a big score. Anytime you’ve got Steve Smith coming back into the team it’s a great feeling. Absolutely, I’m looking forward to seeing that happen. Anyone who bowls 150kms an hour, he loves the challenge so there’ll be no backing down from Steve Smith, I know that 100 per cent for sure,” Marsh said as quoted by Cricket.com.au.
Steve Smith’s first concussion injury:
Steve Smith suffered his first concussion injury when facing Jofra Archer during the 2019 second Ashes Test at the Lord’s. Archer’s fearsome bouncer struck the batsman at the head that needed him to go off the field. However, the 31-year old returned to bat and hit two boundaries before getting dismissed by Chris Woakes.
The same forced him to miss the next Test in Leeds, returning for the fourth in Manchester. On return, the New South Wales batsman hammered 211 and 82 as the tourists retained the Ashes urn. In only four Tests, Steve Smith made 774 runs at an average of 110 with three centuries on that visit.