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Langer not 'confident' of Steve Smith's return after 'rusty' net session

Australia head coach Justin Langer is not 'confident' over batsman Steve Smith's return in the series decider ODI against England following the blow to the head he suffered before the opening game.

ANI | Manchester | Updated: 16-09-2020 15:18 IST | Created: 16-09-2020 15:18 IST
Langer not 'confident' of Steve Smith's return after 'rusty' net session
Australia batsman Steve Smith . Image Credit: ANI

Australia head coach Justin Langer is not 'confident' over batsman Steve Smith's return in the series decider ODI against England following the blow to the head he suffered before the opening game. Langer said Smith looked a 'bit rusty' in the net sessions before the third ODI.

"In terms of Smithy, he had a hit today. He still looks a bit rusty, to be honest. We'll give him until the last moment to play but I'm not as confident now as I was 24 hours ago," ESPNcricinfo quoted Langer as saying to SEN Breakfast with Pat and Heals. Smith was struck on the side of the helmet by a throwdown during the practice session. The right-handed batsman had to miss the first two games of the ODI series.

Earlier, Langer was optimistic about Smith's inclusion in the playing XI for the series decider. "Fingers crossed. We know what a great player he is, he got a blow to the head in training the day before the first game, so we've been going through all the concussion protocols, he's definitely tracking in the right direction," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Langer as saying.

"We're hopeful he'll be right for tomorrow, but if he doesn't come up again, then like always we'll keep him healthy in mind. He did all his running yesterday, did some high speed running, worked hard as part of the protocols, he has ticked every box at the moment, so he will 100 per cent have a bat this afternoon unless he's not feeling well this morning. He'll definitely have a hit this afternoon," he had added. Aaron Finch-led Australia had won the first ODI against England by 19 runs. However, the visitors lost the second game by 24 runs owing to poor batting performance. The two teams will lock horns in the series decider on later in the day. (ANI)


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