Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc ruled out of South Africa tour due to injuries, expected to return for ODI World Cup

Australia’s premier batter Steve Smith and left-arm pace spearhead Mitchell Starc have been sidelined from the white-ball tour of South Africa due to wrist and groin injuries, respectively.

Premier Australian batsman Steve Smith and left-arm pace spearhead Mitchell Starc have been ruled out of the upcoming white-ball tour of South Africa due to wrist and groin injuries, respectively. This announcement comes as Cricket Australia takes a cautious approach to ensure the players’ optimal recovery. However, fans can expect to see both Smith and Starc fully fit for the Men’s ODI World Cup, scheduled to take place in India from October 5 to November 19.

In light of Smith and Starc’s absence, Mitchell Marsh has been appointed as the captain for both white-ball formats during the South Africa tour. This decision underscores Cricket Australia’s priority of maintaining player fitness and readiness for the larger international events.

The absence of Starc will provide an opportunity for uncapped left-arm quick Spencer Johnson, who was initially named in the T20I squad, to join the ODI leg of the tour. On the other hand, Smith’s injury opens the door for Marnus Labuschagne to join the ODI squad, with Ashton Turner stepping in as his replacement in the T20I squad.

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The injuries have been identified as a tendon injury to Smith’s left wrist, requiring approximately four weeks of recovery time. Meanwhile, Starc has been dealing with “groin soreness” following his participation in the WTC final and four of the five Ashes Tests in England. Notably, his absence from the South Africa tour is unrelated to the shoulder injury he previously encountered.

Cricket Australia’s selection panel head, George Bailey, emphasized that the upcoming World Cup remains the squad’s top priority. He stated, “With the World Cup the priority of the squad, it was determined on advice that it was best for Steve and Mitchell to join the group in India by which time we expect them to be fully fit and available for the Indian ODI series, plus the World Cup warm-up fixture.”

For the South Africa tour, Michael di Venuto will serve as the head coach for the T20 format, assisted by former Australian fast bowler Clint McKay and Australian women’s team assistant Dan Marsh.

The revised squads for the South Africa tour are as follows:

Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa

Australia ODI squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Tanveer Sangha, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

-IANS

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