Steve Smith is preparing himself to pass the final hurdle of his recovery from concussion. He wishes that a long-awaited Test tour abroad can help him overcome a couple of odd years and rekindle his invincible form during Australia’s historic visit to Pakistan.
With the first Test in Rawalpindi scheduled to start on Friday, the 32-year-old needs to get comfortably go through Australia’s first training session of the tour on Tuesday to guarantee his contention for a spot. Smith will face pace bowling for the first time since suffering a concussion on February 13 after he landed terribly on his head following a spectacular diving attempt to save a six during the second T20I against Sri Lanka.
During Australia’s training sessions in Melbourne just before this tour, Smith faced side-arm bowling and spin on his return from the dangerous head knock, which saw him out of the five-match series based on medical reasons.
I take pride in performance away from Home – Steve Smith
“It’s about ticking off facing pace bowling,” he said. “Once that’s done everything should be fine. It’s progressing nicely. I knocked myself out for a few seconds,” he said. “When I came to, I was in a weird state. I knew straightaway I was likely concussed having had a few knocks to the head.
“I’ve had headaches and drowsiness. A couple of Fridays ago, I had a vertigo incident where I was struggling for a bit that day. I’ve had the Epley Maneuver and got the crystals back where they’re supposed to be in the inner ear. After that, things sort of settled down and progressed really nicely. I’ve been able to do the exercise stuff I need to get myself back to that ready to play state.”
“I love getting on a roll and being able to play a lot of cricket and finding my groove,” said Smith, who averages 57.1 from 39 Tests away from Australia. “It’s been an odd couple of years having not played away since the Ashes in 2019…it’s hard to fathom. I pride myself on my performance away from home. The last away tour I performed really well in the Ashes and hopefully I can replicate something similar in this series.”