Star Australia batsman Steve Smith remains a doubtful starter for the second ODI against England on Sunday after he copped a knock to his head during training and will undergo a second concussion test to decide his availability.
Smith was a late withdrawal from Friday’s first ODI – which Australia won by 19 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series- after sustaining a blow on the head in the nets from a throw-down by a coaching staff member on the match eve.
Smith, the World’s number one Test batsman is understood to have subsequently undergone a concussion test and was omitted from the first ODI side “as a precautionary measure.”
“He got a knock on the head in practice. It’s a precautionary measure to leave him out,” Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch had said.
A spokesperson for the Australia team confirmed Smith would undergo a further assessment on Saturday before any decision is made about his availability for the second ODI on Sunday afternoon. He was also infamously felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord’s during last year’s Ashes. That knock caused him to miss the second innings of that Test and the following match as well.
There is also doubt over left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc’s availability for the second match of the series after having experienced some groin pain on Friday. He managed to complete his 10 overs after slipping on the field but will be assessed over the next 24 hours. “He’s a little bit sore but we’ll see how he pulls up and go from there,” Josh Hazlewood said.
Australia are in with a chance to claim a bilateral ODI series win over England for the first time since 2015 and end the recent dominance by Eoin Morgan’s men in 50-over cricket. England have won 11 of their past 14 encounters against Australia.