After missing the first ODI due to precautionary measure, ESPNCricinfo has reported that Steve Smith would miss out on the second ODI after a blow to his head in the nets. While Smith has passed the first concussion test, he would further undergo a further assessment before availability.
Australia was rocked back by the news that Steve Smith would sit out from the playing XI after sustaining a blow to his head in the nets before the start of the ODI series. While Aaron Finch confirmed at the toss that it was just precautionary measures, ESPNCricinfo has reported that the Australian No.3 batsman might still not be bit by the time of the second ODI in Emirates Old Trafford.
The publication also reported that Smith was hit during the throw-downs session that he was facing from one of the coaching staff. Australia’s spokesperson confirmed that the right-hander would now have to undergo further assessments before he can be available for selection.
"He got a knock on the head yesterday in practice. It's a precautionary measure to leave him out," Finch said at the toss for the first ODI.
In the absence of Smith, Finch went in with Melbourne Stars’ batsman Marcus Stoinis with Marnus Labuchagne switching to the No.4 position. While the move worked well till Stoinis was in the middle, once he got out, the onus and the burden had to be shouldered by Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh, who scored 77 and 73 respectively to take Australia to 294 at the end of their innings.
While the visitors go into the second ODI with a 1-0 lead, it would still take monumental efforts from their side to wrap up the series.