Australia’s head coach Justin Langer feels the decision to rule in-form batsman Steve Smith out of the third Ashes Test was a ‘no brainer’. Smith has been in sublime form scoring 378 runs in three innings including two centuries and one half-century. He was taken off the field after a bouncer from Jofra Archer hit his neck on day four of the Ashes Test on Saturday.
“When we followed the protocols he was probably a couple of days off being fit to be selected,” said Langer at a press conference.
“It was really a no-brainer. He felt a bit better yesterday but he’s not going to have enough time to tick off everything he’s got to do.”
Langer compared the impact of losing Smith to that of England’s James Anderson getting ruled out.
Hear him out:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 21, 2019
“It’s not unlike England losing James Anderson. He’s arguably their best bowler and we’re going to lose arguably our best batsman for this Test match,” said Langer.
“It is always a blow. No doubt about that. When you take your best players out it always has an impact.
“We have to make sure our senior players and the younger guys step up and fill what are almost unfillable shoes because he’s the best player in the world.”
Smith walked back to the field after the approval of team doctor Richard Saw. However, he was subbed out by Marnus Labuschagne as he woke up ‘groggy’ on Sunday. Labushchagne replaced him as a sub in the Lord’s Test and is likely to replace him in the Leeds Test starting Thursday.