Australia release update on troublesome Smith injury amid Ashes uncertainty

Australia 's new chairman of selectors, George Bailey, has said he is "really confident" that star batter Steve Smith will be able to play a big part in the upcoming T20 World Cup and Ashes.

Smith has been struggling with a recurring elbow injury for years and it flared up while he was playing in the IPL for Delhi Capitals.

As a result, Smith has not played cricket since May, missing Australia's tours to West Indies and Bangladesh to continue his rehab.

Smith has previously said that he would be willing to miss the T20 World Cup in order to ensure he is fit for the Ashes.

However, Smith has been selected in Australia's World Cup squad, despite Bailey admitting that the batter is still a long way from being ready for Test match cricket.

"He's building up nicely," Bailey said. "The latest update I had from him is he's facing up over 100 balls in a session pretty comfortably.

"That's about a quarter of what he'd like to be facing for a test match so he's got a little bit of building up to go there."

He added: "There would obviously be a number where the risk would outweigh the benefit.

"We've got to place a little bit of trust in Steve as someone who knows his body and knows exactly what he needs to be able to perform at a level that's required."

Meanwhile, Australia also named uncapped wicketkeeper Josh Inglis in their World Cup squad, with the 26-year-old getting picked ahead of Alex Carey.

Inglis has been playing white-ball cricket in England this season and starred for Leicestershire in the T20 Blast, scoring 531 runs at an average of 48.27 and a strike-rate of 175.82.

Inglis also featured for London Spirit in The Hundred where he scored 173 runs at an average of 24.71 and a strike-rate of 136.22.

On Inglis' inclusion in the squad, Bailey said: "Josh has been on our radar for some time with his performances in white ball cricket and more recently in the Vitality Blast where he topped the run charts.

"He offers the squad flexibility in the batting order with his adaptability, counterattacking ability and power striking. He is a player we are excited about for the future."

Despite Australia losing their last five T20I series, Bailey believes that they are well-placed to win the World Cup, adding: "We are confident this squad has the ability to take the side deep into what will be an extremely competitive tournament.

"We have some of the best players in the world in their respective roles combined with the collective experience to succeed against the very best T20 sides in the world."

Source: Read Full Article