England v Australia ODIs - Men's
Smith passes concussion tests ahead of second ODI
Australia's star batter and fast bowler Mitchell Starc both firming to play in the second ODI against England on Sunday
12 September 2020, 08:59 PM AEST
Steve Smith looks well placed to return to Australia's batting line-up for the second ODI against England on Sunday after passing a second concussion test in Manchester.
Smith was a late withdrawal from Friday's series opener after copping a head knock in the nets on match eve and was replaced in the No.3 spot by Marcus Stoinis, who impressed with a promising innings 43 from 34 deliveries on a difficult new-ball wicket.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson said Smith was cleared after the first concussion assessment on Friday and the move to rest him was a precautionary measure, adding the star right-hander passed a second concussion test on Saturday.
He will continue to be monitored ahead of Sunday's game.
"I think it was a good decision in the end," allrounder Mitch Marsh said about Smith's absence for the series opener.
"There's no need to take unnecessary risks with head injuries.
"It probably gives our selection committee a few headaches now because the top order struck them beautifully, without getting a big score.
"Anytime you've got Steve Smith coming back into the team it’s a great feeling."
Smith's head knock came some 13 months on from being infamously felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord's during last year's Ashes. That knock caused him to miss the second innings of that Test as well as the third Test of the series before he returned with a match-winning double century in the fourth Test.
Marsh said Smith would welcome a short-ball attack if England's speedsters choose to target him with that approach on his return.
"Absolutely, I'm looking forward to seeing that happen," Marsh said with a smile.
"Anyone who bowls 150kms an hour, he loves the challenge so there'll be no backing down from Steve Smith, I know that 100 per cent for sure."
Mitchell Starc, meanwhile, was clearly in some discomfort on Friday with some upper leg soreness he suffered when he slipped in the field, but the left-armer is expected to play on Sunday.
Aaron Finch's side completed a 19-run win over the world champions in the first ODI and have now enjoyed success in two of their past three 50-over matches against their oldest cricketing rival, stretching back to last year's World Cup in England.
Whether or not it represents a turning point in the recent dominance by Eoin Morgan's men remains to be seen; England have won 11 of their past 14 encounters with Australia.
However, with the momentum in Australia's favour and the chance to claim a bilateral ODI series win over England for the first time since 2015 as well as continue a strong start to the 2023 World Cup qualification process, the presence – or indeed absence – of Smith and Starc could well be decisive.
"Our one-day team has been under a little bit of pressure of late, so it was nice for us to respond with a great win in the first game." Marsh said.
"We're only one win away from a series win now so it's a big carrot for us."
- with Adam Burnett
2020 Tour of England
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood