A day after showing his confidence in Steve Smith‘s return for the final ODI against England later in the day, Australia head coach said that the former captain had a rusty net session and he is doubtful for the game. Smith has not participated in the first-two matches after taking a knock in the net session ahead of the opener.
Incidentally, last summer when Australia visited England for the Ashes, Smith took a knock on his head off a Jofra Archer bouncer which introduced Marnus Labuschagne as a concussion substitute. Langer, describing Smith’s net session, said that he looked rusty to be honest but the team will wait till the last minute to check on him.
“In terms of Smithy, he had a hit today. He still looks a bit rusty to be honest. We’ll give him until the last moment to play but I’m not as confident now as I was 24 hours ago,” Justin Langer said on SEN Breakfast. “If he doesn’t come up again, we’ll keep his – like all of our players – health in mind.”
“He was probably on his 30,000th ball and he probably had about two or three to go. The facilities over here are brilliant but they’re a bit worn because of so much traffic through them over the last few months. So one ball just didn’t quite get up and he ducked into it and it hit him on the side of the helmet. It was unfortunate, these things happen,” said Langer about the blow in the nets.
Australia have opted to go with Western Australia batsman Marcus Stoinis in absence of Smith and might retain him for the final match. The three-match ODI series is currently all square at 1-1 and makes the decider of utmost importance.
Smith has been extremely important member of the Australian squad. He adds further more ammunition to the team’s tally across formats and is among the top four batsmen currently in international cricket.
Smith started his career as a leg-spinner. He started batting in a more advanced position in 2010-11. He took up the sixth position as a batsman in the Ashes and produced solid performances.
In 2013-14, he found his breakthrough. After being included in the series against India in place of four dropped players, he displayed solid performances and continued to grow as a batsman