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Steve Smith drops selection hints ahead of 1st ODI at Chennai

Smith has expressed strong feelings that Cartwright will be the front-runner for the opening slot.

Steve Smith
Australian cricket team captain Steven Smith. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Come tomorrow, the much-awaited series between India and Australia is set to kickoff at Chennai. However, the team from Down Under has been troubled with injury woes as opener Aaron Finch will miss the first three ODIs owing to an injury on his right calf. The 30-year-old suffered the injury six weeks ago while playing for Surrey in England. He was rested from Australia’s squad for the warm-up match against the Board President’s XI on Tuesday after his injured calf pulled up sore at training in Chennai.

Now with the position up for grabs, Steve Smith has dropped selection hints ahead of first ODI. Also, a pressing issue for both the teams is the vacancy right in the heart of the lineup at the 4th spot. While India will most probably go with KL Rahul in the middle-order, Smith has made his verdict very clear. All-rounder Travis Head will be in line for the No. 4 spot amid speculations of him coming out alongside David Warner as an opener; while Hilton Cartwright is all set to make his international debut, hinted the Australia skipper.

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Ashton Agar has chances to fill in Finch’s shoe

Speaking to the reporters after today’s practice session, Smith said, “I’d say Travis will probably bat four. I won’t give too much away other than that. We’re going to have a look again tomorrow at the wicket and see what’s the best. There might be a bit of rain around so it gives us a chance to have a look at that and then name our XI. It just depends on the conditions. We’ve got a spinning allrounder, we’ve got allrounders who take the pace off the ball so we’ve got a few different options.”

The diminutive skipper could also opt for left-handed batsman Ashton Agar to fill in Finch’s shoe as a pinch-hitting probability. But Smith has expressed strong feelings that Cartwright will be the front-runner for the opening slot.

The No. 4 spot has been really troublesome for the team after Gorge Bailey was dropped from the squad earlier in 2017. Six alternatives have been tried since then and now both the skipper and coach David Saker reckons that Travis is apt for the spot.

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