Australia’s injury hit build up to the Test series against India could be dealt with another severe blow, as their star batsman Steve Smith left training early at Adelaide Oval early on Tuesday with a sore back.
As per Sydney Morning Herald, Smith skilled for less than 10 minutes after heat up and left the bottom with the physio. A Cricket Australia spokesperson stated that the Australian batsman was receiving treatment for back soreness after reaching out for a ball. Smith will not return to coaching till Wednesday on the earliest. The first Test, a day-night game, begins on Thursday.
Australia have already been hit by multiple injuries, opener David Warner has already been ruled out of the first Test due to a groin injury suffered during the second ODI. Will Pucovski suffered a concussion after being struck on the helmet by pacer Kartik Tyagi during the first warm-up game. Cameron Green too is required to pass concussion tests before a potential Test debut
Marcus Harris is likely to get the nod alongside Joe Burns but the two batsmen were struggling to put the bat on the ball against the Indian pace attack in the pink-ball warm-up match.
If it gets to that stage, Smith will be the massive blow to the Australian line up that’s already struggling to identify their best openers.
Steve Smith and David Warner missed the previous Test series against India as they were serving two years bans for ball-tampering incident.
Virat Kohli led Team India made history by winning their first Test series on Australian soil in the 2018-19 rubber.
Matthew Wade looks set to be pushed up the order to open the innings and make way for Green.
Wade would potentially partner either out-of-form Joe Burns or Marcus Harris, who was recalled to the side after Pucovski was ruled out last week.
Incumbent Burns is on a horror run, scoring just 62 runs from nine first-class knocks this summer, putting his place under serious threat.
Pundits suggested Marnus Labuschagne could replace him, but Langer ruled out moving the number three Tuesday, while suggesting Wade had the attributes to open the batting.
“He could. He could handle anywhere. He’s tough, mentally tough, physically tough, got good footwork, he’s got the game for it,” Langer said of Wade.
He added: “I’ve maintained I’ve been privately and publicly backing Joey (Burns) the whole time.
“He’s a very good player. You don’t lose your talent overnight… he also understands though that runs are the greatest currency of value to any player.”