SL vs AUS: Australia's Steve Smith confirms he'll be fit for 1st Test

Steve Smith suffered a quad injury during the ODI series
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Steve Smith suffered a quad injury during the ODI series

Highlights

  • Steve Smith suffered a quad injury during the ODI series
  • He did not play in the last three ODIs
  • Sri Lanka sealed the series 3-2

Steve Smith is set to return for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

Smith was forced to miss the last three ODIs against Sri Lanka due to a quad injury. The visitors lost the series 3-2. While the Australian ace batsman has confirmed he'll be fit to play in the first Test, which will get underway on June 29 in Galle, fast bowler Mitchell Starc faces a race against time to be fit.

After suffering a finger injury during the opening T20I, Starc went on to miss the remainder of the white-ball series.

"If we were still playing one-day cricket, I would be touch and go, but in Test cricket, I will be fine. Test cricket is a bit easier [on the quad]. I field in the slips, won't be doing a great deal of running around in the field. And then in these conditions, there's not a lot of hard running. They usually have a few sweepers, and it's four or one quite often. So there's not a heap of hard running," Smith told AAP.

Meanwhile, Starc won't be allowed to take the field with his fingers taped. However, he can tape it back if he cuts his finger during the game.

"We have tried to give it as long as we could because it is (the cut] in probably the worst spot. It's where the ball comes off last. It's certainly not to my advantage [bowling with tape on], because it takes away from my grip," said Starc.

Starc was Australia's best bowler the last time they toured Sri Lanka in 2016. The fast bowler finished with 24 wickets in three Tests, only behind then Lankan spinner Rangana Herath, who picked up four wickets more than the Aussie fast bowler. Courtesy of Herath's havoc, Sri Lanka whitewashed Australia 3-0 in the Test series.

Meanwhile, over the years, finger spinners have done well in Galle, the venue for both the upcoming Tests. Therefore, Ashton Agar was certain to make his Test come back. However, his side strain has ruled him out, but the tourists expect him to return for the second Test, which is due to begin from July 8.

Andrew McDonald hints at playing Mitchell Swepson in 1st Test

While Australia have Jon Holland and Matthew Kuhnemann as cover, head coach Andrew McDonald did not rule out giving leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson a go.

"A lot of the suggestions from around the traps is that finger spin tends to work better here than wrist spin. But it's not to say wrist spin can't work. We're not as clear if we were to go with a finger spinner [on who it would be] as we would have been with Ashton. We feel like Ash would have given us good control, and that would have been a positive for the team if he was selected," McDonald said.

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