Justin Langer: It's a no-brainer to leave Steve Smith out of 3rd Test

Updated: Aug 21, 2019, 10:35 IST | AFP

Steve Smith, who has scored two centuries and 92 in his three innings in the first two Tests was felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday in the first innings of the second Test at Lord's

Steven Smith with coach Justin Langer at Headingley yesterday
Steven Smith with coach Justin Langer at Headingley yesterday

London: Australia's star batsman Steven Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test beginning tomorrow after suffering concussion, a decision which coach Justin Langer said was a "no brainer".

Smith — who has scored two centuries and 92 in his three innings in the first two Tests — was felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday in the first innings of the second Test at Lord's. Smith's absence will be a huge blow to Australia who hold a 1-0 lead in the five Test series and for whom victory at Headingley would ensure they retained the Ashes.

Their other batsmen have not looked convincing — experienced opener David Warner has totalled just 18 in his four innings — with Smith being the lynch-pin. "When we followed the protocols he was probably a couple of days off being fit to be selected," said Langer at a press conference.

"It was really a no-brainer. He felt a bit better yesterday but he's not going to have enough time to tick off everything he's got to do."

Langer said losing Smith was as big a blow as England losing pacer Jimmy Anderson in the first Test. "It's not unlike England losing Anderson. He's arguably their best bowler and we're going to lose arguably our best batsman for this Test match," said Langer.

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