Smith was at the receiving end of a blow to the head while batting in the nets, not from a delivery from Australia's fearsome pace attack, but rather a seemingly innocuous throw-down from a member of the support personnel.
A spokesperson from the Australian team confirmed that Smith was being rested as a precaution despite managing to pass a concussion assessment instantly following the hit. As part of the safety protocols, he is required to have another test before the second ODI commences.
"Steve Smith got a knock on the head yesterday [Thursday] in practice so it's a precautionary measure to leave him out," Australia captain Aaron Finch had told Sky Sports at the toss.
This is not Smith's first unfortunate experience of getting a knock to the head since he was dramatically felled by a rapid bouncer from England pacer Jofra Archer in last year's drawn Ashes Test at Lord's.
The ball from Archer clocked 92 mph on the speed gun as Smith dropped to the floor by the intense impact of the hit.
He was then replaced by Marnus Labuschagne in the playing XI, marking international cricket's first concussion substitute.
Although Smith missed the third Test at Headingley, he still racked up an astronomical tally of 774 runs across four matches including three hundreds. Australia retained the prized urn after the series ended all square at 2-2.
In the 31-year-old's absence, Marcus Stoinis was promoted to the No. 3 position in the batting order. Stoinis, who opens for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, batted well for his aggressive 34-ball 43 before being dismissed by Mark Wood.