The upcoming Chappell-Hadlee series in New Zealand will be played by Australia without the skipper. Apart from Khawaja and Warner, captain Steven Smith is also dropped out from the tournament. The ankle injury, which the captain suffered in the final ODI against Pakistan, had a hard hit on Smith. After the rule-out, the selectors are naturally under a quandary as David Warner, the vice-captain is also absent to lead the team. Warner is rested from the squad as a preparation for the fourth-coming tour to India for a test series. The national selectors were over a hurried meeting with the board of directors of Cricket Australia.
Smith's exclusion was decided after the injury. As reported, the player got a medial ligament injury to the left ankle. The captain said as the injury will take 7 to 10 days to heal, he would not be on the first match of the tournament. He would not be fit for first match and most likely for the second and the third match as well. Smith however, took the hiatus as an opportunity to rest for the upcoming India tour. He said the team "got a lot coming up" and hence the selectors think "it's an opportunity to rest it and be right for India."
For the player, the damage came as a "bit of shock." Smith said, he "landed really awkwardly" on his foot and felt the pain straight away. He said he was never injured to his ankle before in the way. He suffered a "reasonable amount of pain on the field" and was also in a bit of pain at the night. Smith seems concerned about the wound. The injury might be more than just a sprain. He will also undergo an MRI to find any other issues. Smith had to wake up in the morning in pain struggling with the wound. However, even if the damage was severe, the player was confident to be fit for the Dubai training camp ahead of their tour to India.
The Chappell-Hadlee trophy is set to begin on Monday, January 30, and the team is getting ready to campaign against New Zealand, without their captain as well as the vice-captain.
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