The injury incurred during the Lord’s Test hindered Steve Smith’s performance throughout the series, ultimately leading to his exclusion from the white-ball tour of South Africa. The player attempted to mitigate the issue with a splint, but it proved ineffective and consequently, he opted for the injection, enabling him to resume batting in practice sessions just last week before heading to India for the forthcoming three-match ODI series.
Smith told Nine newspaper at a promotional event in Sydney:
“Then I got a cortisone in it last Thursday, and that has made a big difference. So I’ve had a couple of sessions back batting now and it feels pretty normal.”
Given Travis Head’s significant injury uncertainty for the World Cup due to a fractured hand sustained at Centurion, there is speculation that Smith may reclaim his favored No. 3 position. Initial plans had suggested he might shift down a spot to accommodate a formidable top three comprising Head, David Warner, and Mitchell Marsh.
The three ODIs in India hold great significance for several members of Australia’s World Cup squad as they seek to regain their form after missing the matches in South Africa. Like Smith, Pat Cummins (wrist), Mitchell Starc (groin), and Glenn Maxwell (ankle and paternity leave) are yet to participate in any warm-up games before the tournament.
In the meantime, Cameron Green’s involvement in the South Africa series was limited due to a concussion sustained in the inaugural match in Bloemfontein. Similarly, Ashton Agar made a solitary appearance in that game before being sidelined by soreness, subsequently departing for the birth of his child.
Agar is not anticipated to rejoin the squad until the World Cup warm-up fixtures following the India series, where Australia are scheduled to face Netherlands on September 30 and Pakistan on October 3.
The Aussies are slated to kickstart their tournament campaign against India in Chennai on October 8.