Steve Smith walks off practice session with injured back, compounds Australia’s troubles ahead of the 1st Test
Australia’s problems could well multiply ahead of the first day-night Test against India in Adelaide as their premier batsman Steve Smith walked out of the practice area without any batting practice. Smith reportedly left the ground shaking his left-arm and appeared to be in some discomfort.
Australian daily Sydney Morning Herald reported that the team spokesperson of Australia said Smith had hurt his back while fielding on Tuesday and therefore decided against batting.
Smith’s injury will keep Australia on their toes as they have already lost one of their key batsmen David Warner to an injury. Young opener Will Pucovski too was ruled out due to a concussion suffered during the first practice game against India.
Both Smith and Warner were not part of the Australia squad that lost to India in 2018-19.
There was, however, a silver lining for Australia in the form of all-rounder Cameron Green. The lanky all-rounder practised with the squad and looks set for a Test cap unless he fails the fitness test ahead of the first Test.
Australia coach Justin Langer said the 21-year-old all-rounder will be picked provided he clears concussion protocols following his head knock in a tour match last week.
“He had another test this morning that we got good news on,” Langer told reporters before Australia’s practice session Tuesday.
The four-test series starts Thursday at the Adelaide Oval and Langer’s batting lineup is far from settled.
Marcus Harris has been added to the Australia squad in Adelaide and could open with Matthew Wade, who bats in the middle order and is backup wicketkeeper for captain Tim Paine.
Langer hasn’t ruled out Burns but acknowledged that the incumbent test opener’s 62 runs from nine first-class innings has put pressure on his spot in the team.
“I’ve been talking to Joe ... I’ve been privately and publicly backing Joe in the whole time,” Langer said. “He’s a very good player. You don’t lose your talent overnight.