X Close

Sri Lanka vs Australia: New injury worries for visitors as Travis Head, Steve Smith doubtful starters ahead of fifth ODI


COLOMBO: Travis Head will miss Australia's last one-day international against Sri Lanka while Steve Smith is also doubtful, skipper Aaron Finch said Thursday on the eve of the dead-rubber match.

Head hurt his hamstring on Tuesday when Sri Lanka took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series in Colombo, adding to a long list of injuries for the visitors.

Smith missed the game with a quad problem and Australia were also without Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc and Ashton Agar.

"There is a lot of them," Finch said, adding that he was "not sure" if Head, who scored a useful 70 not out in the third ODI on Sunday, would be fit for the two-match Test series beginning on July 29 in Galle.

"Especially where he fields in the outfield, he does quite a lot of kilometres and the ground is quite heavy," Finch said, adding that Head's absence was a "bit more of a precaution."

Finch blamed the "disappointing" series defeat on Australia's inability to build partnerships but said the games were still good preparation for the Tests.

"Any time we've started to get any momentum in the game, we lose a wicket and in these conditions, once you lose one, they go back-to-back pretty quick," Finch said. 

He also defended international bilateral series in the age of domestic T20 tournaments like the Indian Premier League, which have registered huge growth in funding and popularity in the last few years.

Finch said that the standard "isn't the same when you play domestic competitions" and international bilateral series were still "important to the game".