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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

‘I’ve got to get out there, ’ this is why Smith came out to bat again after being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer

“‘Mate, I’ve got to get out there, I can’t get on the honour board unless I’m out batting’. That’s what Steve Smith says, that’s what he thinks. He was determined,” said Australia head coach Justin Langer

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2019 11:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Australia's Steve Smith walks after losing his wicket.
Australia's Steve Smith walks after losing his wicket.(Action Images via Reuters)
         

Revealing that Steve Smith wanted to get back on the field immediately after entering the dressing room, Australia head coach Justin Langer said the former Australia skipper is like his son and he wanted to make sure Smith was fine before allowing him to go out and bat again.Smith was forced to retire hurt after being hit flush on the neck by a 148 km/h bouncer from England pacer Jofra Archer when he was on 80.

“Because he was hit in the neck and not in the helmet or in the head maybe that had a bit of an impact, it was like getting a soft tissue injury,” Langer said in the press conference after the day’s play at Lord’s on Saturday. “He got hit on the arm as well, and then hit on the neck.

Also Read: Cricket Australia releases Steve Smith’s X-ray reports and concussion test results

“But as soon as he got up in the medical room, it was like ‘nah I’m going okay’, then he had the concussion testing and the doctor came through and said ‘he’s passed all that and he’s pretty good’. By the time he walked back in the dressing room he just couldn’t wait to get back out there again.

“I was saying ‘mate are you sure you’re okay’, these are like my sons right, so you’re never going to put them in harm’s way, even though you’re always in harm’s way with Test cricket.

Also Read: Pujara, Rohit grab the headlines; Rahane flops in India’s warm-up match against Windies A

“‘Mate, I’ve got to get out there, I can’t get on the honour board unless I’m out batting’. That’s what he says, that’s what he thinks. He was determined.

 

“All he was worried about was that he wasn’t going to be able to play his forward defence because it was hurting with his top hand grip,” Langer said, adding that the blows Smith received on Saturday would not be long term worries.

“We can look into it, but honestly he wouldn’t have gone out there unless we thought (he was okay). We asked him over and over. I asked him privately, I asked him behind closed doors two or three times, I asked him in front of the group,... he just goes ‘all good, all good coach, I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go’.

“What else do you do? The medicos cleared him, he wanted to get out there, we were looking after him, and he said ‘honestly I’m ready to go, my arm’s a bit sore’. That’s why he went out there,” said Langer.

Smith was on his way to a third consecutive century in the series when he got hit. However he came back out to resume his innings after the fall of the sixth Australia wicket.

He came out with an aggressive intent, smashing consecutive fours in his first over and another in the next but was dismissed after he decided to leave a straight delivery from Chris Woakes that hit him on the pad plumb in front of the middle stump. Smith left the field with 92 runs to his name.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Aug 18, 2019 11:23 IST

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