Smith could miss T20 WC to be fit for Ashes
Australian batsman Steve Smith has revealed that he could miss the upcoming T20 World Cup in order to be fully fit for the Ashes. Smith recently opted out of Australia's white-ball tours to West Indies and Bangladesh and is undergoing rehabilitation for his injured left elbow. At the moment, he remains hopeful of participating in both the T20 WC and the Ashes.
Would love to play both WC and Ashes: Smith
"There's still a bit of time between now and (the T20 World Cup), and I'm tracking okay at the moment - it's slow, but I'm going okay," Smith told cricket.com.au. "I'd love to be part of the World Cup, for sure, but from my point of view, Test cricket, that's my main goal - to be right for the Ashes."
The Ashes: Smith has been Australia's prized possession
Over the years, Smith has been Australia's prized possession in the Ashes. The former Australian skipper racked up a record 774 runs from just four Tests at an astronomical average of 110.57. Notably, Smith has amassed 1,969 runs from 14 matches in the last three Ashes series, with eight hundreds. He averages an incredible 93.76 in these matches.
'Ashes is my primary focus', says Smith
"The Ashes is the primary focus from my point of view. I need to be in a position where I can bat for long periods of time, and at the moment I can't do that, which is annoying. But I'm getting there slowly," added Smith.
Fourth-most runs in the Ashes for Australia
Smith has emerged as Australia's fourth-highest run-scorer in the Ashes. So far, he has aggregated 2,800 runs from 27 Tests at a phenomenal average of 65.11. The tally includes 11 hundreds and 9 half-centuries. Among Australians, Smith is only behind Don Bradman (5,028), Allan Border (3,222), and Steve Waugh (3,173) in terms of runs in the Ashes.
Smith wasn't fully fit in first half of IPL 2021
Smith, who is battling an elbow injury, revealed that he wasn't fully fit while playing in the first half of IPL. He has scored only 104 runs in six IPL games this season. "I still wasn't quite 100 percent (during the IPL), it was still bothering me a bit, and I was playing over there medicated, taking some painkillers and anti-inflammatories," he stated.
The T20 WC will take place in October-November
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to run from October 17 to November 14. Australia will then take on Afghanistan in the one-off Test, starting November 27. Meanwhile, the first Ashes Test will begin on December 8. Interestingly, the remainder of IPL 2021 season is also slated in September-October. It remains to be seen if Smith recovers in time to play the shortest format.