Steve Smith ruled out of third Ashes test after concussion injury

Ross Houston
August 22, 2019

Langer, who replaced Darren Lehmann as coach when the latter resigned following the ball-tampering scandal that blew up on the tour of South Africa in 2018, said losing Smith was as big a blow as England losing leading wicket taker Jimmy Anderson in the first Test.

Smith sat out training at the Leeds ground today, and was seen receiving consolatory pats and arms around the shoulder from teammates and coach Justin Langer.

Smith, 30, was hit in the neck by a 92mph bouncer from Jofra Archer on day three of the second Test, but passed an initial concussion test and returned to continue his innings.

Smith is in far better spirits than on Sunday, when he became the first concussed cricketer to be substituted out of an worldwide match, but the tight turnaround was always going to count against him.

But Smith, who hit two centuries in the first Test, has now been ruled out of the match at Headingley.

Labuschagne is nearly certainly set to keep his place and Paine is adamant the South Africa-born batsman alone can not bear the brunt of the hole left by Smith. We're expecting James Anderson to swing the ball, seam the ball and we're going to have to be really tight in our defence.

"It is always a blow".

"You take your best players out and it always has an impact, so we've got to make sure our other guys step up and fill nearly unfillable shoes, because he's the best player in the world".

"Our guys play a lot of short-ball cricket in Australia - we tend to play on bouncy they're used to playing off the back foot and I'm sure they'll prepare accordingly", said the former Australia opener. The 24-year-old sensation was seen imitating Smith's unconventional gait while batting and even aped Smith's loosely hanging back-lift.

However, he was unable to play on the fifth and final day on Sunday as he awoke feeling "groggy".

"We play on the WACA, we play on the Gabba", Langer said.

"If he plays four Test matches in a row, that will test him out".

Archer made his Test debut in the drawn second match at Lord's and produced several spells of menacing quick bowling, hurrying the Australian batsmen up and forcing them into evasive action from deliveries that averaged more than 145kph.

For a fleeting moment, Steven Smith was fully part of preparation for the Headingley Test.

Holding claimed England's deployment of Archer in the second Ashes Test amounted, in cricket terms, to abuse as they sought the win that would level the series.

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