Australia news April 14, 2011

Steven Smith to have ankle surgery

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Australia allrounder Steven Smith will not be taking up his IPL duties with Kochi Tuskers Kerala after it was decided he should fly home to undergo ankle surgery. Smith has experienced left ankle pain through the Australian summer, and will now have the problem dealt with, to be fit in time for Australia's pre-season camp in July and the tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa that follow.

"Steve has had long-standing, minor pain in his left ankle during the Australian summer," team physio Alex Kountouris said. "This is considered an opportune time to have surgery on the ankle. It will take place next week so he can adequately prepare for the upcoming Australia season."

Smith's withdrawal is a blow for Kochi, one of the IPL's new franchises, who are winless after two matches. While doing little with the bat, Smith showed considerable promise with the ball in the just-concluded series against Bangladesh, delivering a remarkable sharp legbreak that ripped between bat and pad to castle Shakib Al Hasan.

"I'm pretty happy with the way I'm going. I feel good in everything I'm doing in the nets and in games," Smith said during the series. "Every time I'm bowling in a game it's going to help me, every time I get that opportunity. So at the moment that's pretty much what it's about for me, gaining control in games under pressure."

Smith was scheduled to join Kochi with team-mate John Hastings, as a host of other players including Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee and Shakib Al Hasan, make their way to various IPL franchises following Australia's 3-0 victory over Bangladesh in the limited-overs series that finished on Wednesday.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jorock on April 17, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Love to c DADA in KTK colours . I think KTK where looking for Dada after the auction took place. If Dada is taken in place of Steve this will give the KTK strongness in the batting lineup as well as an experienced candidate. I think mahela will be leaving KTK by May 5 so they need someone like dada to get going and i beleive Mr.Mcullum will be the likely replacement for Jaya as captain so its necessary to have someone like Dada in the wings to give guidenes.This will boost up the Batting of KTK because they lack litle bit of firepower which DADA can provide.DADA........THIS WILL SHOOT UP THE FAN BASE OF KTK IN THE IPL 4

  • VivGilchrist on April 17, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    If Smith is as good as you say he is then theres no reason why he shouldn't be playing as our frontline spinner thus eliminating the need to play Doherty or any other B-grader. This would allow Aus to play any extra batsman, real bowler, or power play pinch-hitting allrounder such as Christian. Wow, imagine having tactics? Have to wait until Neilsen goes, I guess.

  • Meety on April 17, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - the comparison is more for Short Formats - he was a 2-time WC winner. Memory (a sometimes subjective thing), has some people thinking Hoggy was a great of the game, (check the commentary during Game #3!!!). What I'm trying to say is that at 21, Smith is ahead of possibly Australia's 2nd best ODI spin bowler ever. If he sticks with it (not going the I give up route like White), plays plenty of 1st class cricket, the selectors take him on overseas tours, by the time he reaches Warnie's debut age he could brilliant. I suppose its all about peoples perception, to me I see Smith as a massive talent, currently delivering a fraction of what he CAN & WILL do. I've used the S Waugh analogy, where he was perservered with (Dropped too), but he always seemed to be in the selectors thoughts. The same IMO should be the case with Smith.

  • VivGilchrist on April 16, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    @Meety. I appreciate your comparison to Hogg. Problem is though, Hogg was a very very average Test cricketer. You're setting the bar a little low there mate.

  • enigma77543 on April 16, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    I think it's time some of the Aussies (I'm sure not all Aussies share this illusion) & faced the truth that Smith is basically a decent bat who can bowl a LITTLE BIT & that's that, he'll likely never be a Test-quality spinner, let alone that of Warne or even MacGill. International cricket isn't a place where you try and turn a part-time spinner into a full-time spinner, he just needs to be playing Sheffield Shield for a couple of years (instead of so many international matches) & if has any real bowling talent then it will materialise in time but at this point in time, he's just a part-time spinner & not good enough a bat to be commanding a place in the Aus side.

  • Biggus on April 16, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Yep, back to the Shield for Smith would be ideal. Having had Warne and MacGill all at once has led to a shift in expectations for young leggies. It used to be figured that a leggie would take at least until 26-27 to mature into the complete package, if that indeed was going to happen and now selectors are picking them and throwing them in at the deep end. Some of our best were positively ancient before they debuted, especially that one we got from NZ, Clarrie Grimmett. I think he needs to be put back into the oven for a while because he's really only half baked at the moment. What troubles we brought upon ourselves when we sacked Hauritz! No world beater for sure, but next to his replacements he looks like Swann (apologies to MCC fans). So here we are back at where we started. Doherty is eager but toothless, Krejza's a mess, the Beer's flat and the selectors won't select O'Keefe or Hauritz. I'm only 2 years older than Bertie Ironmonger was on debut. Should I wait by the phone? Andrew?

  • Meety on April 16, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    All the bagging of Smith is quite boring & actually fairly baseless. In a direct comparison to a player of similar skills (Brad Hogg), Smith stacks up favourably everywhere except Test bowling stats & 1st class bowling stats. Smith is a superior batsmen & at least the equivalent of Hogg in the field. Hogg found fame late in his caeer Smith is still only 21.

  • Meety on April 16, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - we've debated this one a bit. I would prefer to see him playing Shield cricket at the moment. I think where he is at in his development, plenty of time spent with Jenner & Warne will complete the package. As far as I'm concerned - the only thing stopping him turning into a frontline Test quality spinner is control of the big ripping leg break. I like the fact that he is more like to err on the side of being too full, as opposed to too short, otherwise I think his control is good. I think Smith should remain in BOTH short format sides, & he should be taken on tour outside of our domestic season. A sfor his batting, I think that will come along, its a mental thing, I think he bats well when it is a lost cause, (his mind is freed up to play shots). @TEST_CRICKET_ONLY - that equates to a strike rate of 44, which is not slit your wrist terrible. Also you have to look at some of the spells he bowled really applied pressure at the other end, & he outshone Doherty!

  • dummy4fb on April 15, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    there is no reaction from kochi , that probably means they donot want any replacements. dat is a pity

  • popcorn on April 15, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    I think Steve Smıth ıs an overated crıcketer.He has no specıalıty - wıth the bat or wıth the ball. Fıeldıng? ALL Australıan crıcketers aqre expected to fıeld well ,rıght? As a basıc qualıfıcatıon.

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