England v Australia ODIs - Men's
Smith misses again as Aussies take cautious approach
Steve Smith has missed a second straight ODI following a blow to the head in the nets last Thursday, but Mitchell Starc overcome an injury scare to hold his place in the second ODI
13 September 2020, 09:30 PM AEST
Steve Smith has missed a second straight ODI as Australia took a cautious approach to their star batter's recovery from a head knock at training last week.
Smith was ruled out of the 50-over series opener against England after being struck by a throwdown in the nets on Thursday.
The 31-year-old had passed an initial concussion assessment on Friday, and again passed a second assessment on Saturday morning, but was left out of the playing XI for Sunday night's second ODI at Old Trafford..
A Cricket Australia spokesperson added: "Steve passed both assessments, but we have decided to rest him as an extra precaution in line with our high level of focus on duty of care to all players."
Smith missed the third Test of last year's Ashes series in England due to concussion after he was felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings of the Lord's Test. He returned to dominate the fourth Test of the series – coincidentally at the same Old Trafford venue as these ODI matches – and ensure Australia retained the urn.
With Smith missing from Australia's batting line-up, Marcus Stoinis again slotted in at the No.3 position with the tourists setting their sights on a bilateral ODI series win over England for the first time since 2015.
In better news for Aaron Finch's side, who bowled first after England captain Eoin Morgan won the coin toss, fast bowler Mitchell Starc was deemed fit to play the second clash despite suffering some upper leg soreness in the 19-run victory at the same venue on Friday.
While Australia fielded an unchanged team, England made two alterations to their XI, with Tom and Sam Curran both included, replacing Mark Wood, who pulled up sore after the opening match, and spinning allrounder Moeen Ali, who was dropped.
Finch said he would have preferred to bat first on a used wicket, but added Starc had pulled up "better than expected" after the first ODI.
That first ODI saw Stoinis impress with a promising innings 43 from 34 deliveries on a difficult new-ball wicket, before Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell helped rescue Australia from a precarious position with a match-defining sixth-wicket partnership.
Starc's new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood then ripped through the England top order to claim 3-26, while the leg spin of Adam Zampa caused problems for the home side as he finished with four wickets of his own.
Australia 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.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Marcus Stoinis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
England XI: Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer
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