Australia’s injury hit build up to the Test series against India could be dealt with another severe blow, as Steve Smith left training at Adelaide Oval early on Tuesday with a sore back.
According to Sydney Morning Herals, Smith trained for only 10 minutes after warm up and left the ground with the physio. A Cricket Australia spokesperson said Smith was receiving treatment for back soreness after reaching out for a ball. Smith won’t return to training until Wednesday at the earliest. The first Test, a day-night game, begins on Thursday.
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) December 15, 2020
Australia have already been hit by multiple injuries, with David Warner (hamstring) and Will Pucovski (concussion) ruled out. Cameron Green too is required to pass concussion tests before a potential Test debut.
If it gets to that stage, Smith will be the biggest blow to the Australian line up that’s already struggling to identify their best openers. Smith, along with Warner, had missed the previous Test series against India due to ball-tampering bans and saw from the sidelines as the visitors won their first series down under.
Matthew Wade looks set to be pushed up the order to open the innings and make way for Green.
Wade would potentially partner either out-of-form Joe Burns or Marcus Harris, who was recalled to the side after Pucovski was ruled out last week.
Incumbent Burns is on a horror run, scoring just 62 runs from nine first-class knocks this summer, putting his place under serious threat.
Pundits suggested Marnus Labuschagne could replace him, but Langer ruled out moving the number three Tuesday, while suggesting Wade had the attributes to open the batting.
“He could. He could handle anywhere. He’s tough, mentally tough, physically tough, got good footwork, he’s got the game for it,” Langer said of Wade.
He added: “I’ve maintained I’ve been privately and publicly backing Joey (Burns) the whole time.
“He’s a very good player. You don’t lose your talent overnight… he also understands though that runs are the greatest currency of value to any player.”