Steve Smith Returns in The Nets, Expected to be Fit For Adelaide Test vs India Despite Stiff Back

Written by Vipin Darwade

Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith, whose fitness became a cause of concern after he missed a training session on Tuesday, returned to the nets and batted for some time to prove his fitness on Wednesday. Putting rest to doubts over his participation in the historic first-ever day-night Test between India and Australia in Adelaide, Smith batted for a few overs in the nets session. He displayed his arrow of strokes and showed his trademark resilience during his outing.

After doing a few stretching exercises and running drills at the Adelaide Oval, Smith had skipped the routine football session and headed straight to the dressing room in some discomfort. The day-night Test against India starts on Thursday. Meanwhile, Australia captain Tim Paine said it was not a serious niggle and a day’s rest came as a ‘blessing in disguise’ for the star batsman.

“We expect Steve to be there. He has had a stiff back a number of times before and you can have that if you bat as much as he does at the nets,” Paine said at the pre-match media interaction in Adelaide.

“He has a stiff back before and yesterday was more precautionary. Obviously, come tomorrow, he gets through stiff back and finds a way to score runs like he always does,” he added.

Australia have already been hit by multiple injuries, with David Warner – groin – and Will Pucovski – concussion – ruled out of the opening Test.

Promising all-rounder Cameron Green, who will make his Test debut on Thursday, suffered a mild concussion after being hit on the head by a shot from Jasprit Bumrah in the pink-ball warm-up match between India and Australia A in Sydney.

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Vipin Darwade