Steve Smith won’t be a part of the third Ashes Test, which is set to get underway on Thursday, August 22 at the Headingley in Leeds. He has failed to recover from the concussion he sustained during the Lord’s Test after being hit around the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer. Justin Langer, the head coach of the Australian team, confirmed the news on a cold Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, Smith didn’t train around, receiving a pat on the shoulder from fast bowler Pat Cummins. Langer also wrapped his arms around him as the squad warmed up without their premier batsman. The bumper from the English speedster got him on his knees and he walked off the park in order to undergo a concussion test. But he returned to bat a while later and scored 92 runs.
Smith needs permission of the team doctor
Richard Saw, the team doctor, was seen chatting with him near the centre square. He had the last say on Smith’s involvement in the upcoming contest according to Cricket Australia’s (CA) protocols. Smith now needs permission from Dr Saw before he can resume his services on the field as per reports in cricket.com.au. Smith was keen to continue batting after the blow at the Lord’s.
However, it was Dr Saw, who insisted Smith to go back as a precaution. Smith was later ruled out of the rest of the game at the Home of Cricket. It meant that he became the first player to be substituted in international cricket. Queensland’s Marnus Labuschagne batted in the fourth innings of the Test on Day five and he churned out a gutsy half-century under trying conditions.
It helped the Aussies keep their 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The impressive knock has meant that he is now the favourite to replace Smith even in the next encounter. Smith has arguably been Australia’s best bet with the bat, having already scored a couple of centuries at the Edgbaston.
He was making his comeback into the Test team, but showed no signs of nervousness whatsoever under pressure. Prior to the series, he was fourth on the list of ICC’s Test rankings for batsmen. After three innings, he has moved up to second and is nine rating points behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
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