Australia Test captain Tim Paine encouraged Steve Smith on Monday not to push his recovery from injury in order to be fit for the Ashes, even if it meant losing the Twenty20 World Cup.Tim Paine Advises Steve Smith.
Smith is a key aspect in Australia’s bid to retain the crown following a tense 2019 series in England, where he was the star player after returning from a ball-tampering suspension. Having faced a barrage of abuse from English spectators, he scored an amazing 774 runs at an average of 110.57 in four Tests, including double centuries on his Test debut at Edgbaston.
Australia captain Paine Advises Smith not to rush injury return
However, he is out of Australia’s current limited-overs tour of the West Indies due to an elbow injury sustained after altering his batting grip. Last week, Smith stated that Test cricket remained his top priority and that he was prepared to give up the T20 World Cup in October and November.
“What’s important for me is that he’s fit to go, whether that’s at the T20 World Cup or the Ashes,” Paine said in an Interview.
Tim Paine Advises Steve Smith. “Obviously from a selfish point of view, I would love him to be 100 percent fit and if that means he misses that tournament (World Cup) then so be it. “But Steve is a professional, he’ll know where his body is at and if he doesn’t feel like he’s right then he’ll make the right call,” he added.
“It’s important now that he takes the time to get it right, not just for the Ashes but to prolong his career for another four or five or six years.”
After cancelling visits to Bangladesh and South Africa this year due to coronavirus concerns, Australia will enter the England series having played only one Test, against Afghanistan, since last summer. Paine, on the other hand, was unconcerned.
“We know the conditions and know what to expect in Australia,”: Tim Paine
According to cricket.com.au, tickets went on sale Monday and were quickly scooped up, with Brisbane and Perth doing particularly well. The first Test begins on December 8 at the Gabba. After that, the series travels to Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney before finalising in Perth.
With the exception of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is currently at about 85 percent occupancy, venues are being sold to capacity. Given the existing limitations on foreign immigration, it’s unclear if the usual crowds of Barmy Army fans will be allowed to come to Australia. Paine hoped they’d be able to accomplish.
“Absolutely, I hope they do open up (the borders) because they bring a brilliant atmosphere. The Barmy Army are a crucial part of the history of the Ashes and something the players love, whether they’re ripping into you or barracking for the English. It adds to the Test match, to the theatre, so fingers crossed those guys can get in”, Tim Paine concluded.