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The Roar


Smith in doubt for crucial World Cup clash - as selectors face tough calls with Maxwell, Marsh returning

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6th November, 2023

Steve Smith has given Australia’s coaching staff their latest World Cup headache as he battles a bout of vertigo on the eve of the team’s crucial clash with in-form Afghanistan.

Smith arrived at his pre-match press conference in Mumbai on Monday showing some signs of discomfort, before admitting he was struggling with vertigo.

The 34-year-old expects to play on Tuesday, despite potential impacts on his balance, but the situation is an added concern for Australia as the tournament approaches its business end.

“I’ve had a bit of vertigo stuff the last day or so, it’s just been a bit annoying,” Smith said on Monday. “Hopefully I can get through training today and be all good. But it’s not a nice place to be.”

Smith’s symptoms come as Australia finally looked likely to field their strongest team for the first time in the tournament, with Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell available.

The pair have trained in the lead up to the match, after Marsh returned to India from Perth on Sunday following the death of his grandfather.

Maxwell was back practising his batting on Monday, as he prepares to return from a concussion suffered when falling off the back of a golf cart last week.


Provided all are fit, it’s expected Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green will be the men to miss out.

Smith battled with vertigo in Pakistan last March while returning from a concussion, and also had symptoms hours before hitting a 62-ball century against India in a one-day international in Sydney in 2020.

Previous bouts occurred during a white-ball tour of India earlier that year.

“I’ve had a few episodes, so I can tell you it’s not the funnest space to be in,” Smith said.

Glenn Maxwell of Australia celebrates their century during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between Australia and Netherlands at Arun Jaitley Stadium on October 25, 2023 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Darrian Traynor-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Glenn Maxwell. (Photo by Darrian Traynor-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Australia’s former captain said on Monday he had been frustrated by his World Cup so far, having hit just the one half-century – against the Netherlands – as well as a 44 against England and 46 against India.

“It’s been a little bit disappointing at times,” Smith said.


“I’ve been in the middle of a few partnerships that have helped build a foundation, but I definitely would have liked to have gone on with it a little bit more.

“I’ve got in on some tricky surfaces; the first one against India was a tricky one.

“But I still feel like I’m hitting the ball quite well, so hopefully (I’ll score) some runs at the back end of the tournament.”

A win against Afghanistan would wrap up a semi-final spot and all but ensure Australia face South Africa, rather than hosts India, in the knockout match.