Nagging back injury not a problem for Smith ahead of Boxing Day test


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia batsman Steve Smith has no concerns that a nagging back injury will hamper him during the second test against India, which starts on Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Cricket – Third T20 International – England v Australia – Rose Bowl, Southampton, Britain – September 8, 2020 Australia’s Steve Smith walks off after losing his wicket Dan Mullan/Pool via REUTERS/Files

Smith had missed some training time in the buildup to the series opener at Adelaide and was still feeling “a little stiff” on Tuesday, but 31-year-old said he been able to prevent serious flare-ups from the long-standing issue.

“It’s just something I need to manage whenever it goes and I probably haven’t had an episode since 2014, I think it was, so hopefully they can continue to be six years apart if they come,” Smith told reporters.

“If I’m moving around and laying down I’m good. If I sit around for too long it’s not great for it, but I’m not worried about it.

“I think everything will be fine and I’ll be good to go.”

Smith scored just one run in the first innings at Adelaide Oval and was one not out when Joe Burns hit the winnings runs as Australia secured an eight-wicket victory over the tourists, who had been dismissed for a record-low 36 in their second innings.

But Smith has an impressive record at the MCG.

In his seven Boxing Day tests, the right hander has scored 908 runs at 113.50 with four centuries and three other scores more than 50. At his home ground in Sydney, his next best average at home, he has an average of 67.88.

“I like batting at the MCG,” Smith said.

“There’s nothing like the thrill and you get the shivers down your spine when you walk out to bat on Boxing Day with the crowd yelling, and it’s like a dream come true in a way.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford


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