Steven Smith ruled out of Chappell-Hadlee series
Australia will be heading to the Chappell-Hadlee series in New Zealand without their regular skipper Steven Smith, who has been ruled out of tour with an ankle injury.
The 27-year-old sustained the blow while fielding during the fifth and final One-Day International against Pakistan which his team went on to win by 57 runs and sealed the series 4-1.
Smith has been advised seven to 10 days of rest before he can resume training again which might affect his preparations for the all-important Test series against India that kicks-off next month.
Smith along with his Test squad members were originally scheduled to travel to United Arab Emirates on 6th February from New Zealand to get used to the spinning conditions before they take on Virat Kohli's men.
The Australian skipper confirmed the news on his injury before his departure to Sydney where he will begin his rehabilitation process.
“It was decided an hour ago that I’ve been ruled out of the New Zealand series,” said Smith to Cricket Australia's official website.
“I’ve got a medial ligament injury to my left ankle, they think it’s a 7-10 day injury and I wouldn’t be fit for the first game (in Auckland on Monday), I’d be very unlikely for the second game and a possible for the third game.
“We’ve got a lot coming up so they think it’s an opportunity to rest it and be right for India.
“It’s a bit of a shock. I just landed really awkwardly on my foot and I felt something straight away.
“I was a little bit concerned, I’ve never really injured my ankle like that
“I was in a bit of pain last night, I injured it and went off and got it strapped and looked at and was in a reasonable amount of pain in the field."
With vice-captain David Warner already rested for the series and now with Smith's unavailability, it will be interesting to see, who will lead Australia in the upcoming ODI series against Black Caps.
The three-match series will be played in Auckland, Napier and Hamilton between 30th January and 5th February.
© Cricket World 2017