Smith Available for Rajasthan Opener

Batsman recovers from concussion

Steve Smith Batting For Australia

Head coach Andrew McDonald has confirmed batsman Steven Smith will be available for the Rajasthan Royals' first match of the 2020 Indian Premier League.

Rajasthan will meet the Chennai Super Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

Smith was recently ruled out of Australia's recent ODI series against England due to concussion, but has since recovered.

McDonald on Smith

“It is fantastic news that Steve is available. It's fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the United Kingdom,” said McDonald.

“It is obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game, as I have said before we are in really good hands.

“In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn't be happier with their preparation. We've got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off.

“We've trained at Sharjah a couple of times. Most of our players have got a really good feel for the surface. We've had some net practice in the middle which is always a positive rather than just nets out at the back.

“The guys have been able to feel what it's like batting at the centre and have had plenty of fielding down there, so they are quite familiar with the stadium.

“It's clearly a different surface to Dubai or Abu Dhabi in terms of runs and the size of the venue, so it'll create some difficult challenges there for the bowling unit, so no question there being a high-scoring ground.

“But we feel the team will put out their best show to be able to combat what CSK will throw at us.”

No Buttler

The Royals will be without England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler for the match against the Super Kings, though. Buttler is still in quarantine after a belated arrival in the UAE.

This year's tournament is being played without spectators, as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus.

Chennai have won the IPL three times. Rajasthan have one title. The Super Kings beat the Mumbai Indians in the opening match of this year's tournament.

They triumphed despite the absence of West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who will also miss the match against the Royals.

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Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.