LEEDS – England are relieved that Australia batsman Steve Smith is not seriously injured after being struck by a bouncer, but will aim to exploit his absence in the third Ashes Test, skipper Joe Root said on Wednesday.
A concussed Smith was ruled out of the third Test, starting at Headingley on Thursday, after being struck in the neck by a vicious bouncer from England paceman Jofra Archer.
Root said the loss of Smith, who has scored 144, 142 and 92 in three innings so far, was similar to England missing paceman James Anderson, who is unavailable after suffering a calf injury in the first Test.
“We had the challenge of Jimmy going down four overs into a Test and had to manage without a replacement, so you get these swings within a big series... when you get your opportunity, you’ve got to jump on it,” Root told reporters.
“When you play against someone of (Smith’s) quality, you’re trying to find a number of different ways to get him out.