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India vs Australia: Steve Smith’s exit from cricket tour said due to hitting woes

Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman doing commentary in the India-Australia series explains the exact reason for injured Australia skipper Steve Smith’s exit from the India tour.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Oct 08, 2017 00:03 IST
HT Correpondent
HT Correpondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs Australia,Steve Smith,David Warner
Steve Smith suffered the injury while fielding in the fifth ODI at Nagpur.(Getty Images)

Steven Smith’s exit from the three-match T20 International series against India surprised many, including former cricketer-turned-commentator Dean Jones. The Australia captain answered the query by revealing the exact reason for his trip back home to recover.

FLYING HOME EARLY

It was decided by the Australian camp on Saturday morning — with Australia due to play their first T20I at Ranchi a few hours later — that Smith would return home to recover from a shoulder injury suffered while fielding during the final ODI against India at Nagpur. India won the five-match series 4-1.

Smith’s injury and exit from the T20Is against India will see his deputy David Warner captain Australia. Marcus Stoinis has been called in as a replacement for Steve Smith.

READ | Steve Smith out with injury, David Warner to lead Aussies in T20 cricket series

The timing of the decision to send the Australian captain back home initially surprised Jones, who took to Twitter to question the timing. Smith had suffered the injury on October 1, during the final ODI against India.

“My only question with Steve Smith going home now.. why didn’t he go home earlier after the Nagpur ODI?” asked Jones in a Twitter post on Saturday

However, Jones was told by Smith that he faced discomfort in hitting big strokes while practising range-hitting — a must for batsmen in the T20 format.

“Got the full story from @stevesmith49 re his injury... after range hitting yesterday.. hasn’t pulled up well. So he pulled out,” Jones revealed.

Smith’s early return home is also expected to help him regain full fitness for the Ashes series against England starting with the first Test in Brisbane on November 23.

READ | Virat Kohli’s India set to continue dominance vs Australia in T20 series

The Australia skipper now joins fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who will be taking the field in Australian domestic competitions such as the JLT one-day tournament and Sheffield Shield to prove their fitness post recovery from injury.

Range-hitting training in cricket is especially important for T20, where batsmen are expected to clear the boundary regularly.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 17:38 IST