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Steve Smith ruled out of T20 series, Warner to lead Australia

Ranchi, Oct 7 (UNI) In a major blow to Australia, skipper Steve Smith was on Saturday ruled out of the Twenty20 series, starting here this evening, against India due to a shoulder injury.

While all-rounder Marcus Stonis has been named as a replacement for Smith, who will be returning back home for recovery, vice-captain David Warner will lead the Australian side in the three-match series.

In a Cricket Australia release, team doctor Richard Saw said,"Smith landed awkwardly on his right shoulder while diving in the field during the fifth ODI against India last Sunday. Following the match he complained of shoulder soreness, which has not settled and is restricting his ability to bat and throw."

"Subsequently he has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury, but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover. He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season," added he.

Significantly, Smith's absence will be a huge setback for the visiting side after going down 1-4 against host India in the concluded ODI series.

After the first T20I this evening here, the second game will be held on October 10 in Guwahati followed by the final game of the series at Hyderabad on October 13.
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