Hip injury to Steven Smith sours Australia’s record chase

Thursday, February 3, 2011

MELBOURNE - Australia’s fourth highest successful run chase in ODIs on Wednesday against was soured by an injury to allrounder Steve Smith.

Captain Michael Clarke, who made a pivotal 82 to shepherd the Australians home, said Smith had suffered a hip strain in the field and would not fly to Perth for the final match of the international summer.

“He’s got a slight hip strain so he won’t be flying to Perth with us. I’m very confident and the medical staff are confident that he’ll be 100 per cent fit for the World Cup,” said Clarke.

Smith’s ailment means none of Australia’s three nominated spin bowlers for the World Cup will be fit to play the final match before the squad leaves for the subcontinent.

The national selectors may have to consider another spin option for the tournament after Xavier Doherty’s back complaint proved more stubborn than first thought.

Doherty was called into the limited overs squad after Nathan Hauritz suffered a dislocated shoulder during the third match of the current series against England in Hobart, placing him in severe doubt for the World Cup, The Herald Sun reports.

However, Doherty’s own fitness now appears questionable after he complained of renewed back pain in training ahead of Wednesday’s sixth match at the SCG.

“Xavier Doherty developed some back pain during the one-day game in Adelaide on Australia Day and did not train in Brisbane,” said team physio Alex Kountouris.

“He attempted some light training yesterday in Sydney and his back was again painful. As such he is unavailable for the remaining two games of this series. His return to cricket will be determined by monitoring his recovery over the next week,” he said. (ANI)

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