Injured Steve Smith out of T20I series against India
Australian captain Steve Smith will return home before the start of the T20I series against India after failing to recover from a shoulder injury.
Smith was struggling with a sore shoulder during the team’s training at Ranchi, and had gone for an MRI scan after a practice session on Thursday. He was unable to take part in the majority of the training session the next day, sitting out while the rest of his teammates practiced.
He managed to take a few throw-downs from the batting coach, before making his way back tot the team hotel.
"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," said Team Doctor Richard Saw.
"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", he added.
After consulting with the selectors, the support staff and Saw, Smith decided it was best to return home and recuperate.
Smith had injured himself while fielding during the fifth ODI at Nagpur, falling awkwardly on his right shoulder and was having trouble batting and throwing the ball subsequently.
The skipper's absence will be a huge blow for the Australian side, who were humiliated in the recently concluded ODI series. A solitary win in Bangalore wasn't much compensation to a scoreline that read 4-1 by the end of the 5th game.
Smith's return makes sense, considering that the Australians have a much more important Ashes lined up at the end of the year, and would want their batting talisman to be in full fitness before the start of the prestigious series.
David Warner, who has ample experience of playing in Indian conditions courtesy the IPL, will stand in for Smith. He led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden title in 2016.
The side also features Aaron Finch, who had led the team during their series against Sri Lanka earlier this year. In Smith's absence, Glenn Maxwell, who bats in the middle-order, could get a promotion up the order to bolster the batting in the initial overs.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who was part of the ODI squad as well, was named Smith's replacement for the T20I leg.
The first T20I will be held at Ranchi on October 7