Australia cricket star Steve Smith is confident he is fit and ready to go and won’t be affected by his recent concussion when Australia’s first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi begins.
During Australia’s T20 international against Sri Lanka on February 13 at the SCG, Smith was concussed while fielding when he dived in the air to stop a Maheesh Theekshana ball from going over the boundary.
As he attempted to catch the ball and throw it back into the field of play, Smith fell headfirst into the ground with his head hitting the ground hard.
Smith was sidelined for the remaining games of the T20 international against Sri Lanka and has recovered in time for Australia’s tour of Pakistan.
“I knocked myself out for a couple of seconds and then when I came to I was in a pretty weird state and I knew straight away I was concussed,” Smith told reporters from his Islamabad hotel.
Smith said he recently experienced a worrying vertigo incident, however he has since fully recovered.
“I’ve had headaches, a bit of drowsiness. A couple of Fridays ago I had a vertigo incident where I was struggling for a bit that day,” Smith said.
“But I had the Epley manoeuvre and got the crystals back where they’re supposed to be in the inner ear — it’s not a very comfortable place to be, I will tell you that.”
“After that, things settled down and progressed really nicely. I have been able to do all the exercise stuff that I needed to do to get myself back to that ready-to-play state, so everything is going well.”
In November 2020, the 32-year-old nearly missed Australia’s ODI series against India due to experiencing an intense feeling of vertigo. Smith was vomiting on the morning of the first match due to the formation of small crystals in his middle ear.
Smith has previously experienced concussion when he missed the third match of the 2019 Ashes series in England after being struck on the neck by Jofra Archer during the Lord’s Test.
In 2020, Smith missed most of Australia’s ODI series against England after being hit in the head by a throw down from assistant coach Trent Woodhill.
During his most recent recovery from concussion, Smith has only faced spin bowlers and side-arm throwdowns in the MCG practice nets and will need to get through a session facing pace bowlers to prove his fitness ahead of the first Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
“I have the opportunity to face some fast bowlers which I am looking forward to,” Smith explained.
“I am looking forward to the next three days of prep before we get started on Friday. The head has progressed really well the last few days so I am feeling in a good space.”
The Aussies will be looking for their star batter to lead from the front during the Pakistan tour with Smith having scored 755 Test runs against Pakistan at an average of 53.92, with a highest score of 165 not out at the MCG in December 2016.
It is the first time in 24 years that Australia will travel to Pakistan with the tour consisting of three Test matches, three ODIs and a T20 international.