England v South Africa, 3rd ODI, The Oval
Graeme Smith is going to miss remaining 3 matches of South Africa’s one-day tour of England, and is unlikely to play again until the tour of Australia in December, after failing to recover from a tennis elbow problem that has troubled him since the start of the tour. Jacques Kallis will stand in as captain.
Smith saw a specialist in London on Thursday and received a cortisone injection but, according to South Africa’s coach Mickey Arthur, there is no question of his fitness being risked, especially with his side already struggling at 2-0 down in the five-match series.
According to Shane Jabaar, South Africa’s physiotherapist, there is no guarantee that Smith will be fit to face the Australians. “A tennis elbow is a chronic problem and one can’t say how long the rehabilitation will take,”
Smith was first diagnosed with the problem during his stint with the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL in April, but all of the attention was focussed on the hamstring tear that threatened to rule him out of the first Test at Lord’s in July.
Ironically, it was Smith’s superhuman stint with the bat at Edgbaston that, in the words of Jabaar, effectively “drilled a nail right through his elbow”. By batting for five hours and 41 minutes for his series-clinching 154 not out in the second innings of that match, Smith compounded the problem to a grave extent.
Kallis’s first role will be to galvanise his team’s morale after they were rolled over for 83 in the second ODI at Trent Bridge on Tuesday but he was adamant that the task that faces him is not insurmountable.
– About Cricket –
Sandesh Kumar Jaggi