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Steve Smith’s scary Saturday at Lord’s

By AAP Newswire

BLOW BY BLOW SUMMARY OF STEVE SMITH'S PAINFUL DAY

*What happened?

Smith, threatening to march Australia to a first-innings lead at Lord's, was worked over in a violent spell from express paceman Jofra Archer after lunch. Smith was struck on the elbow and forearm but it was a hit to his exposed neck that shocked everyone at the home of cricket. The batsman hit the deck in alarming fashion. He was assessed by Australia's team doctor Richard Saw and soon back on his feet.

*Was he knocked out?

Smith showed no signs of concussion. He was keen to continue batting but agreed to retire hurt at the insistence of Dr Saw, who wanted to undertake a concussion assessment in the rooms. Smith passed all tests and was given the green light to resume his innings. The right-hander scored 12 more runs before shouldering arms to a delivery from Chris Woakes that trapped him lbw.

*Why didn't Smith field then?

The 30-year-old was notably absent from the slips cordon after tea, a result of his arm injury rather than the head knock. Smith was sent for precautionary x-rays, which confirmed there was no fracture.

*What sort of tests did Smith have to pass to play?

Cricket Australia's concussion and head trauma policy was followed. The batsman was asked a series of questions on the field. Who bowled the ball? Who bowled the previous over? Who was the last man dismissed? Where was your last match? Smith answered correctly then underwent the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT5) and CogSport tests in the rooms. These results are compared with a player's baseline answers, while the player also physically needs to show he is ok during a balance test (standing on one leg etc.).

*Will he bat in Australia's second innings?

Smith will be assessed throughout the match. Concussion symptoms can sometimes be delayed. If Smith is diagnosed with concussion then he will play no further part in the game. A recent rule change means that teams can replace a concussed player during the match, provided the match referee approves the request. Finding a 'like for like' replacement, as the rule dictates, for Smith would be literally impossible given his skill but one of Australia's reserve batsmen would get the nod.

*Why was it such a scary moment?

Smith wasn't wearing a neck guard and the projectile was sent down at serious pace. The obvious parallels with Phillip Hughes' tragic accident in 2014 would have affected players, some of which were at the SCG when Hughes was struck, and pundits. The stunned silence at Lord's and broadcasters' initial refusal to show footage underlined the level of concern.

*Was Smith really booed?

Yes. For the most part there was a standing ovation when Smith trudged off the ground after being hit, likewise when he resumed his innings. However, small sections of what is supposed to be cricket's most genteel crowd booed the batsman. Former Test keeper and Nine pundit Ian Healy branded the jeers, which Smith has copped during his international comeback from a year-long ban, as "disgusting".