Steve Smith to miss ODI series due to elbow injury; leggie Swepson drafts in

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LAHORE: Australia top order batsman Steve Smith will miss the white ball component of the Qantas Tour of Pakistan to manage discomfort in his left elbow, Cricket Australia spokesman said.

“Smith experienced some discomfort during the three-match Test series and, with a full schedule of international cricket over the coming 18 months, it was felt prudent to prioritise recovery and treatment at this time,” the spokesman said..

He will be replaced by Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in the squad to contest three One-Day Internationals (29 and 31 March and 2 April) and a T20 International (5 April), with all matches taking place in Lahore.

Cricket Australia’s Head of Sports Science and Sports Medicine, Alex Kountouris, said: “Steve has been experiencing some minor discomfort in his left elbow during the latter stages of the Test series in Pakistan and, given he had an injury with the same elbow last year, we felt it important to manage this proactively.

“Withdrawing him from the white ball matches means Steve will have the necessary time to rehabilitate his elbow to ensure his continuing availability and performance for Australia.”

Chair of Selectors George Bailey said: “With the significant amount of cricket to come over the next 18 months, and the fact he has had an issue with the same elbow previously, it is appropriate for Steve to return home at the end of the Test series in Pakistan.

“We have opted not to name a replacement batter as we feel we have options within the existing squad, and Steve’s absence offers up additional opportunities to players within the group.

“We are excited because with a T20 World Cup later this year and a 50-over Cricket World Cup in Asia next year, these four matches against a quality Pakistan team are a great chance for players to stake their claims for places in those tournaments.

“We have decided to include Mitchell Swepson in the white ball squad because it will offer us additional options in the bowling department on surfaces that may well assist spinners.

“Mitchell was part of our Twenty20 International squads in both the West Indies and Bangladesh last year, as well as at the T20 World Cup, and having been in Pakistan for the past month he is familiar with conditions. We know if called upon he will do an excellent job.”

Steve Smith said: “It’s disappointing to miss these matches against Pakistan but after chatting with the medical staff I can see the need to take a break at this time.

“I do not regard this as a major issue but by staying on top of things now, we can ensure that it doesn’t become something more significant further down the line.”

Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa.