PAK vs AUS: Steve Smith to miss white ball games, Mitchell Swepson named as replacement
Steve Smith will be nursing an injured elbow in the meantime that he picked last year.
Updated - Mar 26, 2022 10:51 am
Australian batter Steve Smith will not be part of the upcoming ODIs and T20Is against Pakistan, and will instead go into rehabilitation for his injured elbow. The right-hander has not been able to stack up the runs he used to in the past and has been going through a century drought in Test cricket for a considerable period of time now. Although it is not a major injury, Smith will now have ample time to recover from the injury he picked up last year.
The 32-year-old played a significant part in Australia’s emphatic 1-0 triumph in the recent three-match Test series by scoring some important half-centuries, despite not getting to the three-figure mark. In the process, he also became the fastest player to reach 8000 Test runs. The selectors have named wrist-spinner Mitchell Swepson as the replacement for Smith in the limited-overs series to add strength to their spin attack.
We felt it important to manage Steve Smith’s issue proactively: Kontouris
Kontouris, Cricket Australia’s Sports Science and Sports medicine manager, explained that withdrawing Smith was a proactive measure to get him back fully fit and added that it will also ensure that the injury is taken care of before it becomes a major one in the future.
“Given he had an injury with the same elbow last year, we felt it important to manage this proactively. Withdrawing him … means Steve will have the necessary time to rehabilitate his elbow to ensure his continuing availability and performance for Australia. But by staying on top of things now, we can ensure that it doesn’t become something more significant further down the line,” Kontouris said in a statement.
George Bailey, meanwhile, mentioned Swepson as the replacement for Smith to enhance the options available in the white-ball squad. Swepson made his Test debut recently but has not featured in ODIs yet for Australia although he has played seven T20Is since his debut in 2018.
“We have decided to include Mitchell Swepson in the white-ball squad because it will offer us additional options in the bowling department on surfaces that may well assist spinners. Having been in Pakistan for the past month he is familiar with conditions,” Chairman of selectors George Bailey said as quoted by Times of India.
Australia ODI and T20I squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa.