MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia batsman Steve Smith will miss the one-day and T20 matches against Pakistan to manage a left elbow injury, the team said on Saturday.
Smith experienced some discomfort during the latter stages of Australia’s 1-0 win in the three-match test series against Pakistan, team physiotherapist Alex Kontouris said.
“Given he had an injury with the same elbow last year, we felt it important to manage this proactively,” Kontouris said in a statement.
“Withdrawing him … means Steve will have the necessary time to rehabilitate his elbow to ensure his continuing availability and performance for Australia.”
Smith said he did not regard his injury as a major issue.
“But by staying on top of things now, we can ensure that it doesn’t become something more significant further down the line,” he added.
He will be replaced by Queensland legspinner Mitchell Swepson in the squad for the three ODIs starting Tuesday in Lahore and the one-off T20 on April 5.
Swepson, who made his test debut in Pakistan, is uncapped in ODIs but played the last of his seven T20 internationals against Bangladesh in August.
Chair of Selectors George Bailey said his panel had opted against a replacement batsman as they felt they had enough options in the squad.
“We have decided to include Mitchell Swepson in the white ball squad because it will offer us additional options in the bowling department on surfaces that may well assist spinners,” he added.
“Having been in Pakistan for the past month he is familiar with conditions.”
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Lincoln Feast)