Australia batsman Steve Smith, will be missing out on the third Ashes Test after suffering a concussion at the hand of England Bowler Jofra Archer.
Smith, 30, was hit in the neck by a 92mph bouncer from Jofra Archer on day four of the second Test. He was taken off field but passed an initial concussion test and returned to continue his innings. On the Sunday he was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne in the second Test at Lord’s, with Labuschagne becoming Test cricket’s first concussion substitute.
Smith has scored 142, 144 and 92 in his three innings so far in the series so has been extremely valuable to the Aussie side. It has not been confirmed who will replace Smith in the Australia team for the third Test at Headingley, which starts on Thursday. Coach Justin Langer confirmed his absence after Smith sat out Australia’s training session on Tuesday.
Smith had said he wanted to play at Headingley provided he was passed fit by medics but given most guidelines on return-to-play protocols that always seemed unlikely. Though widely anticipated, the news is a serious blow to Australia’s hopes of winning the series.
The tourists lead 1-0 with three tests remaining, starting in Leeds on Thursday. Australia currently hold the Ashes and will retain them if the series is drawn, while England must win the series to recapture the famous urn.
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