Premier Australia batsman Steve Smith took a blow to his head and missed out on the first and second ODI against England. He took the knock ahead of the first ODI and then missed out on the second match, even though he was reportedly cleared to play. Smith is more likely to return than not in the series decider against England on Wednesday.
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. Australia head coach Justin Lager has his fingers crossed for the return of Steve Smith for the final ODI. He also mentioned that Smith is closely following the concussion protocol and tracking in the right direction.
“Fingers crossed. We know what a great player he is, he got a blow to the head in training the day before the first game, so we’ve been going through all the concussion protocols, he’s definitely tracking in the right direction,” Australia coach Justin Langer said.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be right for tomorrow, but if he doesn’t come up again, then like always we’ll keep him healthy in mind. He was just practising, we talk about Steve, he was probably on his 30,000th ball, probably had two or three to go, and the wickets over here, the facilities have been brilliant, but they’re a bit worn because of so much traffic through them over the past few months. One ball just didn’t quite get up, he ducked into it and it hit him in the side of the helmet.
“He did all his running yesterday, did some high speed running, worked hard as part of the protocols, he has ticked every box at the moment, so he will 100% have a bat this afternoon unless he’s not feeling well this morning. He’ll definitely have a hit this afternoon.”
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