Ashes 2019: Steve Smith ruled out of third Test match
What's the story?
Star Australian batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test match which was set to get underway on the 22nd August at Headingley, Leeds. He still hasn't recovered completely from the concussion he suffered during the Lord's Test.
In case you didn't know...
After initially taking a blow to the arm, the 30-year-old batsman was hit on the back of the neck by a vicious Jofra Archer bouncer when he was batting on 80. As a result, Smith was forced to retire hurt until he came back again to bat after clearance from the team doctor. However, he fell eight short of his third century in the ongoing Ashes series.
Consequently, he was ruled out of the remainder of the Test and was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne who went on to score a match-saving fifty as Australia came away with a draw.
The heart of the matter
Smith arrived at the ground for the training session along with the rest of the team but didn't take any part in it. He was only involved in some separate conversations with coach Justin Langer, team doctor Richard Saw, Usman Khawaja and Mark Taylor. All this while, he was clearly not in a stable mood and looked drowsy which is clearly a symptom of concussion.
Although his non-availability for the third Test looked inevitable, Justin Langer eventually confirmed that Smith has been ruled out of the match. Marnus Labuschagne is the firm favourite to take Smith's place in the playing XI.
Australia would be hoping that Steve Smith recovers fully before the 4th Test match at Old Trafford. which starts on September 4. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Smith has been the sole difference between Australia being 1-0 up and 2-0 down in the Ashes series.
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