Saturday, 21 September, 2019

Steve Smith ruled out of third Ashes test after concussion injury

England's Jofra Archer celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Usman Khawaja England's Jofra Archer celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Usman Khawaja
Cary Erickson | 22 August, 2019, 15:55

It has not been confirmed who will replace Smith in the Australia squad for the third Test at Headingley.

There was a slim chance he would be fit enough for the third Test and did appear at Australia's training session on Tuesday though did not take part.

Smith's absence will be a huge blow to Australia who hold a 1-0 lead in the five Test series and for whom victory at Headingley would ensure they retained the Ashes.

Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne in the second Test at Lord's, with Labuschagne becoming Test cricket's first concussion substitute.

"We know what our plans are to beat England", said Langer.

England too have been without a star player after James Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, broke down early in his spell at Edgbaston with a calf injury that paved the way for Archer's Test bow at Lord's.

Their other batsmen have not looked convincing - experienced opener David Warner has totalled just 18 in his four innings - with Smith being the lynch-pin.

"The very fact we've got one in global cricket goes to show how much has gone into it".

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.

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"He's picking up every day and he's obviously keen to play but unfortunately he's not really quite right for this Test match".

"Our guys play a lot of short-ball cricket in Australia - we tend to play on bouncy wickets.so they're used to playing off the back foot and I'm sure they'll prepare accordingly", said the former Australia opener.

"You take your best players out it always has an impact, we have got to make sure that all the other guys, our senior players and our younger players all step up and fill what are nearly unfillable shoes as he is nearly the best player in the world".

"The victor of this Ashes is not going to necessarily come down to one player from either side".

"Steve Smith's the best player in the world, he will come back in the next Test, if it's the next Test, or the tour game and we're expecting him to be the same old Steve Smith", said Paine.

However, he was unable to play on the fifth and final day on Sunday as he awoke feeling "groggy".

Initially, Smith passed a concussion test and was allowed to return to the field and complete his innings, but his condition worsened the following day.

"We have to be, otherwise we won't win the series". "We're here to win the Test match, not to see how many helmets we can hit".

Provided he pulls up ok from the low-intensity activity, Smith will soon gradually step things up with more vigorous exercise than basic cricket drills.