Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Justin Langer admits Steve Smith absence will hurt Australia as England comparison made | Cricket | Sport

Smith will sit out of the Headingley Test due to the concussion he suffered when he was hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord’s on Saturday.

The former skipper is far by the leading run scorer in the series and was proving a huge thorn in England’s side.

England will once again be without their all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson at Headingley.

Anderson is continuing his recovery from a calf injury he aggravated in the first Test at Edgbaston by playing for Lancashire’s second XI this week.

And Langer believes Smith’s absence will have a similar impact for Australia as Anderson’s has for England.

“We are going to lose arguably our best batter for this Test match,” said Langer.

“So it’s always a blow, no doubt about that.

“It is not unlike England losing James Anderson, he’s arguably their best bowler. You take your best players out it always has an impact.

“It was pretty simple really, when we followed the protocols, he was probably a couple of days off being fit to be selected.

“At the end of the day it was really a no brainer, he felt a bit better yesterday but he is not going to have time enough to tick off everything he needs to do to be ready to play.

“We have got to make sure that all the other guys, our senior players and our younger players all step up and fill what are almost unfillable shoes as he is almost the best player in the world.

“We’ve talked the whole time about squad mentality and being ready and when things come up like they always do in this game and guys are ready to step up and I’m confident they will do that.”

Smith is understandably disappointed at not playing at Headingley but Langer says it is the right decision.

“I think more than anything pleased that there’s not going to be any speculation that he’s going into a Test match unfit,” the former opener added.

“More than anything I just want to wish him a speedy recovery to be honest.

“I said after the game you want to play hard cricket and you want it to be intense and challenging but you never want to see anyone leave the field hurt and walk off like that.”

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