Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia captain Steve Smith will be heading back home from the ongoing tour of India after failing to recover from a shoulder injury.
Smith, who sustained the injury while fielding during the fifth ODI in Nagpur, will miss the three-match Twenty20 series and has been replaced by all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
With Smith leaving, opening batsman David Warner will lead Australia in the series.
“Smith landed awkwardly on his right shoulder whilst diving in the field during the fifth ODI against India last Sunday,” team doctor Richard Saw was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Following the match he complained of shoulder soreness, which has not settled and is restricting his ability to bat and throw.
“Subsequently he has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury, but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover. He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season.”
Since the four-Test tour of India earlier this year, where he scored 499 runs, which included three centuries, at an average of 71.28, Smith has struggled to have an impact with the bat.
When asked why he has not been able to replicate his form from earlier in the year, the 28-year-old admitted that he is not as comfortable as he used to be when he is at the crease.
“To be honest, I wasn’t feeling great at the start of the series, I wasn’t holding the bat the way I liked to and I was having a few issues there that I was working on,” Smith said after the fifth ODI. “But I think I’ve slowly found a nice tempo which I’m after. I would have loved to score a lot more runs.
“I’ve got myself in on a few occasions and not gone on to get the big runs that I previously have been. From that aspect, as the leader of the team, it’s been disappointing. But I guess sometimes that’s cricket. You have those periods where you’re not playing or getting the scores you really like.”