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Smith expected to resume batting duties in tour game against Derbyshire
Australia News

Smith expected to resume batting duties in tour game against Derbyshire

Steve Smith is set to return to the cricket action in the tour match against Derbyshire next week after he batted in the nets on Sunday for the first time since the concussion injury.

Smith, whose twin centuries at Edgbaston set up a comprehensive 251-run win over England in the Ashes opener, was left out of the playing XI for the Headingley Test following a bouncer blow from Jofra Archer which caused delayed effects of grogginess and headaches.

A week since that menacing short-pitched delivery from Archer, Smith was observed to be taking guard in the nets facing gentle throw-downs from compatriot bowlers.

He is expected to bat in his No.4 slot in the forthcoming three-day tour game at Derby with an eye on staging a comeback to the team for the fourth Test at Old Trafford on September 4.

"Steve Smith batted against bowlers for the first time today (Sunday)," claimed an Australia team spokesman.

"The session lasted 25 minutes. He also did some high intensity running."

"He will continue to be assessed but is expected to play in the tour match at Derby," he added.

The former skipper has been in spectacular form in his first red-ball series following the expiry of his 12-month ban due to the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

He was forced to retire hurt in the drawn encounter at Lord's but later returned to bat briefly before being ruled out of the second innings making way for cricket's inaugural concussion substitute - Marnus Labuschagne.

Labuschagne has made three successive fifties in the absence of the star batsman which means someone else will have to be dropped to make way for Smith in the penultimate game of the five-match series.