LONDON: Australia coach Justin Langer said that star batsman Steve Smith was desperate to get back on to the field after passing his concussion test on Day 4 of the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Smith was hit flush on the neck by a bouncer from England pacer Jofra Archer when he was on 80 and had to retire hurt.
"Because he was hit in the neck and not in the helmet or in the head maybe that had a bit of an impact, it was like getting a soft tissue injury," Langer said in the press conference after the day's play at Lord's on Saturday. "He got hit on the arm as well and then hit on the neck.
"But as soon as he got up in the medical room, it was like 'Nah I'm going okay', then he had the concussion testing and the doctor came through and said 'he's passed all that and he's pretty good'. By the time he walked back in the dressing room he just couldn't wait to get back out there again.
"I was saying 'mate are you sure you're okay', these are like my sons right, so you're never going to put them in harm's way, even though you're always in harm's way with Test cricket.
"'Mate, I've got to get out there, I can't get on the honour board unless I'm out batting'. That's what he says, that's what he thinks. He was determined.
"All he was worried about was that he wasn't going to be able to play his forward defence because it was hurting with his top hand grip," Langer said, adding that the blows Smith received on Saturday would not be long term worries.
"We can look into it, but honestly he wouldn't have gone out there unless we thought (he was okay). We asked him over and over. I asked him privately, I asked him behind closed doors two or three times, I asked him in front of the group,... he just goes 'all good, all good coach, I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go'.
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"What else do you do? The medicos cleared him, he wanted to get out there, we were looking after him, and he said 'honestly I'm ready to go, my arm's a bit sore'. That's why he went out there," said Langer.
Smith was on his way to a third consecutive century in the series when he got hit. However, he came back out to resume his innings after the fall of the sixth Australia wicket.
He came out with aggressive intent, smashing consecutive fours in his first over and another in the next but was dismissed after he decided to leave a straight delivery from Chris Woakes that hit him on the pad plumb in front of the middle stump. Smith left the field with 92 runs to his name.