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Ashes 2019 | After Blow on Neck, Smith's Immediate Thoughts Were About Late Teammate Hughes

Steve Smith said he was reminded of the fatal blow to the late Phillip Hughes when he was hit on the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer in the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Archer's bouncer ruled Smith out of the second innings of the Lord's Test and the subsequent game in Leeds. The former Australian captain is set to return to action with the three day tour game against Derbyshire, and opened up about his thought process beginning with the time of impact.

Cricketnext Staff |August 28, 2019, 5:30 PM IST
Ashes 2019 | After Blow on Neck, Smith's Immediate Thoughts Were About Late Teammate Hughes

Steve Smith said he was reminded of the fatal blow to the late Phillip Hughes when he was hit on the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer in the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Archer's bouncer ruled Smith out of the second innings of the Lord's Test and the subsequent game in Leeds. The former Australian captain is set to return to action with the three day tour game against Derbyshire, and opened up about his thought process beginning with the time of impact.

"I had a few things running through my head, particularly where I got hit, just a bit of past came up if you know what I mean from a few years ago," he said. "That was probably the first thing I thought about then I was like 'I'm okay here' and I was alright. I was a little bit sad but I was alright mentally for the rest of that afternoon. I felt pretty good, passed all my tests and was able to go and bat and then it wasn't until later that evening that it hit me.

"When the doc asked me what did it feel like I said it felt like I had six beers last night and felt a little bit under the weather, without the six beers unfortunately. That was the sort of feeling I got, that groggy feeling and that stuck around for a couple of days. Not a nice place to be in but these things happen and unfortunately missed what was a pretty amazing Test match. I'm going well. Play the Derby game, get through that and pretty confident I'll be right for the fourth Test match."

Smith was hit on the head when on 80, and returned to bat to add 12 more runs before he was dismissed. There were debates on whether Smith should have been allowed to return given the seriousness of the issue, but Smith was happy with the process followed.

"That's a difficult question because as we've seen this series there's been so many head knocks already," he said. "Marnus has been hit a few times, Jos got hit at one point, Stokesy's been hit. If you're ruling people out from just hits every now and again we won't have a game. You've obviously got to take the advice of the doctor and how you're feeling and at that point in time I was feeling fine. I wanted to go out like any other player would want to go out and try and help their team and you've got to take the advice of your medical staff. Had he told me that this isn't the right thing to do then that's fine, we cop that on the chin and you get on with things. But he was comfortable and I was comfortable and that was it, just move on and play."

When Smith returned to bat, he did so without a stem guard to protect the neck. He revealed he isn't comfortable with wearing them, but said he would adjust if the need arises.

"I've tried them before, and I tried then the other day when I was batting and I reckon my heart rate went up about 30 or 40 straight away," he said. "I just feel claustrophobic. I compare it to being stuck in an MRI scan machine. It was different, but I think at some point they're probably going to become mandatory so I'm going to have to get used to them. And I'm sure the more I wear them, the more I practice with them, my heart rate will come down and everything will be okay,"

"Had I been wearing a stem guard in the game, I'm not sure that would have made a difference, the way my head sort of went back and where it hit me. Of course, you always want to have as much protection as possible and for me now it's about trying it and trying to get used to it in the nets."

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