Ashes 2019, The Ashes 2019, England vs Australia, England, Australia, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer
If Smith is found to have concussion, then according to the rules, Australia will be able to bring a substitute into their side. @ AFP

Steve Smith’s masterclass on Day 4 of the second Ashes 2019 Test was abruptly cut short by a nasty bouncer from Jofra Archer. Batting on 80 during the post-lunch session, Smith, who was staring at his third successive century, turned his head away from a vicious Archer bouncer which struck the former captain on the side of his head.

Smith went down immediately, his face forward – a sight that no cricket fan would want to see. After receiving several minutes of on-field treatment which involved, both the Australian and England medical staffs amid concerns he could be concussed, Smith walked away with a standing ovation from the Lord’s crowd, who earlier had booed Smith, returning after a 12-month suspension.

Smith eventually got to his feet, but left his gloves and bat on the field, and after a prolonged conversation with Australia team doctor Richard Saw, he decided to retire hurt as he walked back into the pavilion.

Australia were then 203/6, 55 runs behind England‘s first-innings 258.

Incidentally, the spot where Smith was hit was almost the same where the late Phil Hughes was hit, triggering panic among fans, but all seemed fine when Smith needed no help as he made his way back albeit a little livid that he had to leave in this manner.

A Cricket Australia spokesman, explaining how Smith had been allowed to resume his innings, said: “Steve was hit on the neck below the left ear. He was assessed lying on the pitch at the instructions of team doctor Richard Saw.

“Dr Saw made the precautionary decision to remove Steve from the field of play to have him further assessed under Cricket Australia’s head impact protocol. Steve then passed his assessments and will now be monitored on an ongoing basis, as is routine.”

As for Smith’s arm injury, the spokesman added: “Prior to the blow to his neck, Steve suffered a bruised left arm.

“He was given a compression bandage on the field of play to reduce the swelling and he took a painkiller. The arm was then iced in the dressing room before he returned to bat following the blow to his neck. It’ll be assessed on an ongoing basis.”

Meanwhile, Archer, making his Test debut, had previously struck Smith on his unprotected forearm with another bouncer.

This innings saw Smith become the first batsman to post seven consecutive Ashes scores of fifty or more. His half-century at Lord’s followed the 30-year-old Smith’s superb scores of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston last week — his first Test since he completed a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that cost him the Australia captaincy.

If Smith is found to have concussion, then according to the rules, Australia will be able to bring a substitute into their side. But it looked like Australia did not need a substitute as he returned to bat after Chris Woakes was rewarded with the wicket of Peter Siddle, who nicked it behind to Jonny Bairstow.

Smith was able to add just 12 runs to his 80 after returning back to the crease as Woakes added another wicket to his tally trapping the Australian plumb lbw.