Almost a week after being struck in the head by a bouncer in the nets, Steve Smith is still struggling to overcome his concussion symptoms.
Smith may miss the third and deciding ODI against England as Aussie officials remain concerned by the star batsman’s slow recovery.
Aussie coach Justin Langer revealed the run-machine was still “rusty” despite passing all his concussion tests and completing a solid block of training that included a late afternoon net session in Manchester.
Just last year Aussie officials watched on with horror as Smith was felled by a Jofra Archer blow at Lord’s that forced him to miss the third Ashes Test at Headingley.
“He had a hit today and he still looks a bit rusty, to be honest,” Langer told SEN on Wednesday morning.
“We’ll give him until the last moment to play, but I’m not as confident now as I was 24 hours ago.”
Langer said Smith was felled by a bouncer on a low, slow, pitch in the Manchester nets, the day before the first ODI.
“We’re hopeful he’ll be right, but if he doesn’t come up again, then like always we’ll keep him healthy in mind,” Langer said.
“He was just practising, we talk about Steve, he was probably on his 30,000th ball, probably had two or three to go, and the wickets over here, the facilities have been brilliant but they’re a bit worn because of so much traffic through them over the past few months. One ball just didn’t quite get up, he ducked into it and it hit him in the side of the helmet.
Smith, who hasn’t played either of the opening two one-dayers, will head to the UAE from England for the Indian Premier League before returning to Australia for the home summer.