Guwahati: Australian top-order batsman, Steve Smith is all set to return to the Australian playing XI for the second one-day international against England on Sunday.
Smith, who was a surprise drop in the series opener on Friday, had sustained a blow in the head while facing throws in the nets. As informed by the Australian skipper Aaron Finch, although Smith had passed one concussion test earlier, he was rested as a precautionary measure for the opening game, pending a follow-up test.
Smith has now passed a second concussion test on Saturday (September 12), Cricket Australia revealed and could very well be a part of the Australian XI for Sunday’s match in Manchester.
Smith had earlier received a sickening strike in the neck, by a 93mph bouncer from Jofra Archer during the Ashes last summer, leading to Test cricket’s first concussion substitution.
Although, Smith is fit to be included in the playing XI, it would be interesting to see whether the Australian team management will risk Smith, especially with Marcus Stoinis getting runs batting at No. 3 in Smith’s absence. Stoinis played a promising knock of 43 in the first ODI against England.
“There’s no need to take unnecessary risks with head injuries.”, Mitchell Marsh, who anchored the Australian innings in the first ODI scoring 73 runs of 100 deliveries, said after the match.
Meanwhile, the fitness of Mitchell Starc still remains a cause of concern for the Australian team management.
The left-arm-speedster had slipped on the field, and although he managed to go through his full quota of 10 overs in the first ODI, he clearly appeared to be struggling with a groin issue.
Australia lead the ongoing three-match ODI series against England by 1-0
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