Smith still dealing with back issue ahead of second Test

By Sports Desk December 22, 2020

Steve Smith admitted his back was still troubling him slightly ahead of Australia's second Test against India.

The star Australia batsman was dealing with a stiff back ahead of the series opener, which the hosts won by eight wickets in Adelaide.

Smith said the issue was still causing him some troubles, but he expects to be ready to go for the Boxing Day Test starting in Melbourne on Saturday.

"Just if I sit down for too long really. If I'm up and about and moving around I'm pretty good. I might be a bit stiff after this press conference," he said on Tuesday.

"If I'm moving around or laying down, I'm good. If I just sit around for too long, it's not great for it.

"I'm not worried about it. I think everything will be fine and I'll be good to go."

Smith was dismissed for one in the first innings in the series opener, before facing one ball in the second.

Australia's top scorer in the first Test was Tim Paine, the captain making an important 73 not out in the first innings.

Only Adam Gilchrist (47.6) has a better Test batting average than Paine (33.4) among Australia wicketkeepers and Smith backed the 36-year-old to continue building.  

"He [Paine] is another one who will take a lot of confidence out of the way he played the other day. He took the game on, was scoring at a good rate, and changed the momentum of the game there," Smith said.

"We’ve always known that Tim's had such a good ability with the bat, and I think he's just getting better. If he can keep having those performances and change the momentum, I think that's part of his job as a number seven and a wicketkeeper.

"I think the guys that do that the best are willing to play the situation and take the game on, whether it's pushing a total up or getting us out of a bit of trouble by playing aggressively and taking it on. I thought he did that really well the other day and hopefully he can keep doing it for us."

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