Published: Thu, August 22, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

'He was very unwell': Australian coach opens up on Steve Smith concussion

'He was very unwell': Australian coach opens up on Steve Smith concussion

The Barbadian-born fast bowler had ended up being a barbarian for Australia's top scorer at the Lord's when his fiery spell saw Smith unable to duck the 90mph deliveries and eventually being taken off the field.

Coach Justin Langer confirmed his absence after Smith sat out Australia's training session on Tuesday.

There is significant variance between and sometimes even within sports on their concussion protocols, with football now still refusing temporary substitutes for longer head injury assessments and the International Cricket Council allowing individual governing bodies to set their own "return to play" time-frames following a concussion.

"He was probably a couple of days off being fit", Langer said.

"At the end of the day, it was really a no-brainer". "He's arguably their best bowler, we're going to lose arguably our best batter for this Test match".

Langer compared the impact of losing Smith to that of England's James Anderson getting ruled out.

Given the symptoms Smith had experienced the morning after his blow from Jofra Archer and the desperately short turnaround time between Lord's and Leeds, it had always been hard to imagine him being fit to bat in time.

"The concern is always there when someone takes it, but next ball, when you get back to the mark, it's "I'm going to keep doing it".

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Smith - who has risen to number two in the world batting rankings - was pictured with his head in his hands and Langer looking glumly at the ground.

Smith suffered delayed concussion, ruling him out of Sunday's dramatic final day of the Lord's Test.

"If he plays four Test matches in a row, that will test him out".

Smith, whose Test average of 63.24 is exceeded only by all-time great Donald Bradman, marked his return to Test duty after a 12-month ball-tampering ban with innings of 144 and 142 in Australia's 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston before making 92 at Lord's.

For a fleeting moment, Steven Smith was fully part of preparation for the Headingley Test.

During Saturday's play Smith was wearing a helmet without the additional stem guard neck protection introduced following the death of his former Australia team-mate Phillip Hughes who was hit by a bouncer in a domestic Sheffield Shield match in Sydney in 2014.

Tim Paine's team will retain the urn if they win the Headingley Test, a result that would also boost their hopes of completing Australia's first overseas Ashes series win in England since 2001.

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