The Australian team has suffered a major blow ahead of the first T20I in Ranchi against India as the skipper Steve Smith has been ruled out of the series due to a shoulder trouble. The 28-year-old underwent an MRI scan on his shoulder after Thursday’s practice session and then, didn’t participate in most of Friday’s night session.
During the fifth ODI in Nagpur, Smith had fallen awkwardly on his right shoulder that constrained his movements while batting and fielding. On Friday, he took a few throw-downs from Graeme Hick, the batting coach and then, left for the hotel. However, the medical staff believes that the injury is not too serious and it shouldn’t impact Steve Smith’s availability for the Ashes next month.
“Smith landed awkwardly on his right shoulder whilst diving in the field during the fifth ODI against India last Sunday. Following the match, he complained of shoulder soreness, which has not settled and is restricting his ability to bat and throw,” team doctor Richard Saw said.
“Subsequently, he has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury, but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover. He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season,” he added.
Warner to lead the side
The vice-captain David Warner will lead the side in his absence. Marcus Stoinis, who did well in the ODI series, has been named the replacement for Smith. Glenn Maxwell is likely to get a promotion in the batting order.
Steve Smith had an under-par ODI series earlier as he could score just 142 runs in 5 matches. The Australians were hoping for a revival on the tour with the shortest format of the game but the absence of the skipper will hurt their chances.
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