India vs Australia: Steve Smith remains a doubt for first T20

Steve Smith remains a doubt for the first India vs Australia T20 to be played in Ranchi on Saturday evening after complaining of a shoulder problem. However, his injury concern doesn’t seem to be too serious for it won’t keep him out of the Ashes that begins on November 23. A decision on his availability for the contest will be made prior to toss. David Warner is expected to lead the side in his absence.
The Australia captain had an MRI scan on his sore right shoulder after training on Thursday and he sat out most of Friday night’s practice session. A Cricket Australia spokesperson confirmed to cricket.com.au that he’s in doubt for the first match of the series. The series will see India play Australia in three games while looking to save face following 1-4 ODI series defeat.
The results from the MRI are still being examined with no proper result yet but the sore shoulder isn’t believed to be serious enough for the home Ashes where Australia go in as favourites. Considering the team’s faulty batting lineup in the recent past, Australia wouldn’t want to take a chance on one of their best batsmen by pushing him for the T20Is ahead of a busy summer.
On Friday, Smith didn’t participate in the fielding drills but came to the nets for 20 minutes before frustratingly leaving with his kit bag in tow. He reemerged later from the team room for a lengthy discussion with team doctor Richard Saw, physio Alex Kountouris, selector Mark Waugh, coach David Saker and head of high performance Pat Howard.
Even though Aaron Finch had captained Australia against Sri Lanka in February, the baton will now be passed on to Warner to captain the team in the first T20. Additionally, it could see Glenn Maxwell move up in the batting order to allow him more time to take on the Indian attack.
“We’re really lucky that we’ve got a really flexible batting order,” wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine said. “Glenn has opened the batting in a few Twenty20s for Australia in the subcontinent and has done really well. But Finchy and Davey Warner are probably two of the better T20 opening batsman in the world so I’d expect they would probably open. But I’m really not sure. It’s great that we’ve got the flexibility and there’s a number of guys who could do it,” he said.
source-The Indian Express

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