Monday, 16 September, 2019

Steve Smith: Australia batsman ruled out of third Ashes Test

Australia's Steve Smith celebrates his century Australia's Steve Smith celebrates his century
Shannon Reynolds | 20 August, 2019, 19:00

A Jofra Archer bouncer landed on Smith's neck just below the helmet grill on Saturday, sending the former captain sprawling to the floor and eventually ruling him out for the remainder of the second Test with delayed concussion symptoms.

On Sunday, Smith admitted that the road to playing the third Ashes Test means he must go about his practice routines regularly. "When we followed the protocols, he was probably a couple of days off being fit to be selected".

"At the end of the day, it was really a no-brainer".

"He felt a bit better yesterday but he's not going to have time to tick off everything he needs to do to be able to play". England are one down in the series after losing the first Test and drawing the second and the hosts will be hopeful of their star fast-bowler putting on a match-winning performance at one of his favourite venues.

Given the symptoms Smith had experienced the morning after his blow from Jofra Archer and the desperately short turnaround time between Lord's and Leeds, it had always been hard to imagine him being fit to bat in time. Take your best players out and it always has an impact.

"We have to make sure our senior players and the younger guys step up and fill what are nearly unfillable shoes because he's the best player in the world".

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"Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test at Headingley, with coach Justin Langer confirming the news after the batsman sat out Australia's training session on Tuesday", Cricket Australia announced on their website.

Smith - who has risen to number two in the world batting rankings - was pictured with his head in his hands and Langer looking glumly at the ground. He was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne after Australia's request was approved by match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

It was the first time a player in worldwide cricket was substituted under the new concussion rules.

Smith is in doubt for Headingley, with the three-day gap between Tests is "not in his favour" according to Cricket Australia. He made 144 and 142 in the win at Edgbaston and 92 at Lord's.

Smith has scored 378 runs at 126 this series, while the other members of Australia's first-choice top six have combined for 406 runs.

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