Steve Smith will take no part in the ongoing second Ashes Test at Lord’s and is also doubtful for the third Test which will be played at Leeds. He was hit in the neck-jaw area by a brutal Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday and had walked off the field. However, he came back to bat after the fall of next wicket and added 12 more runs to his tally before getting out on 92 off Chris Woakes.
The former Australian captain didn’t come out to field though as Marnus Labuschagne fielded as a substitute for him. The news later came that Smith is fit and available to bat in the second innings. However, on the final day of the match before the start of play, Australia named Labuschagne as the first-ever concussion substitute in Test cricket.
Steve Smith, after being hit on the fourth day of the Test, passed a series of concussion tests which is why he was also allowed to bat again. But he woke up with a bit of a headache and a feeling of grogginess according to Cricket Australia’s statement.
England build on the lead
Meanwhile, the duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler has continued to build the lead on the fifth morning. Australia would’ve hoped to pick some quick wickets but the former played his shots and kept the scoreboard ticking. England haven’t lost a wicket so far and if the conditions ease out a bit after an hour, will be looking to set a target for the opposition and make them nervous with Smith out of the game.
With Jofra Archer bowling menacingly and Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes also landing in good areas, the hosts will be confident of putting Australia under pressure. It will be interesting to see though if Joe Root and management will take the risk and offer a brave declaration. As of now, the Test is steadily moving towards a draw but anything can happen with a lot of play still left in the game.
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