Rajasthan Royals have received a huge boost ahead of their first match in the Indian Premier League as captain Steve Smith is available for selection against Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah.
Head coach Andrew McDonald confirmed that Smith will be available after missing the ODI series against England earlier this month after suffering a concussion.
"Fantastic news that Steve is available," McDonald was quoted as saying in a press release. "It’s fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the UK. It’s obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game as I’ve said before we are in really good hands. In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn’t be happier with their preparation. We’ve got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off."
Smith, who missed the ODI series against England, has undergone various concussion test protocols and is ready to tee off. He was hit on the head during a net session prior to the first ODI in Manchester.
"Been in Dubai for a couple of days now with some good rest and then got into a bit of running. Yesterday, I did a bit of zig-zag running, which is part of the protocols to pass to get back to play," Smith was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the franchise.
"And today I will have a hit in the nets. Hopefully, pull up well from the hit and be good to play tomorrow," the Australian said.
Smith's availability comes as a relief for RR who will be without the in-form England batsman Jos Buttler who will undergo quarantine having arrived separately with his family and Ben Stokes who hasn't arrived in the UAE due to personal reasons and is in New Zealand with his family.
With inputs from PTI.
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