Australia batsman Steve Smith is about to return for Sunday’s second one-day international against England after passing a second concussion test.
Smith was a surprise absentee from the series opener on Friday, with captain Aaron Finch revealing he had sustained a blow to the top while facing throws from a member of coaching staff within the nets.
That immediately delivered to mind the sickening strike to the neck he received from a 93mph Jofra Archer bouncer during last summer’s Ashes, which led to check cricket’s first concussion substitution.
The 31-year passed his initial assessment but was overlooked as a precaution pending a follow-up test, which also came through clear on Saturday. Australia’s medical team will still monitor him, but only an unexpected setback will stop him taking the sector at Emirates Old Trafford.
Australia’s rapid pace attack won’t be going easy on him in training and England’s express duo of Archer and Mark Wood are unlikely to tug their punches within the middle either, but Mitch Marsh believes that’s just how Smith would really like it.
“The Steve Smith i do know will probably ask guys to bump the hell out of him, he loves the competition ,” said the all-rounder.
“Anyone that bowls 150kph, he loves the challenge, so certainly there’ll be no backing down from Steve, i do know that 100 per cent needless to say . I’m looking forward to seeing that happen.
“I hope he’s back and hopefully he’s feeling better. it had been an honest decision within the end, there is no got to take unnecessary risks – certainly with head injuries. Any time you’ve got Steve Smith returning into the team may be a great feeling.”
Having began the three-match series with a dominant win, Australia have the prospect to require an unassailable lead over the planet champions.
Having lost 5-0 and 4-1 in their last two attempts against their rivals, that might represent a substantial breakthrough for his or her 50-over cricket.

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