Steve Smith found his form as the IPL season progressed. Picture: AP Photo/Vishal Bhatnagar
Steve Smith found his form as the IPL season progressed. Picture: AP Photo/Vishal Bhatnagar

Smith offers World Cup guarantee

STEVE Smith has declared his troublesome elbow will be "100 per cent" by the time Australia arrives in England for their World Cup defence.

Smith's 12 Indian Premier League games were severely hampered by the injury with the former national captain unable to throw overarm or field near the boundary.

Smith's range of shots also appeared compromised although his form with the bat did improve as the tournament progressed.

The star batsman jets out of India Thursday to join Australia's training camp in Brisbane, where he will bat in next week's three unofficial practice matches against an understrength New Zealand.

The No. 3 underwent elbow surgery earlier this year and was restricted to fielding in the inner circle in the IPL.

Smith's first attempted overarm throw landed about 10m in front of him and sent a shiver through the Australian camp.

But Smith has given a guarantee he will not be a liability for captain Aaron Finch's team in the field.

"From the surgery I have still got some scar tissue and stuff in there and just the impact of the landing affected it a little bit, but there is nothing wrong with it - all good" Smith said.

Steve Smith was limited in the field during the latest IPL season. Picture: AP Photo/Bikas Das
Steve Smith was limited in the field during the latest IPL season. Picture: AP Photo/Bikas Das

"I think I have probably taken a little while to sort of warm into things again. The start of the tournament did not go as well as I would have liked.

"But the more I have padded up the better I have felt. I've been able to contribute to a couple of wins in the last two matches and felt very good."

Smith said he was throwing at 70-80 per cent - and that would return to 100 per cent in the next two weeks.

Australia arrives in London on May 15 and plays Afghanistan in its World Cup-opener on June 1.

"I think just the loads from batting and stuff is good for the elbow to keep the rehab ticking along. It's all going really well, I am happy with that," he said.

 

Smith has declared he will be right for the World Cup.
Smith has declared he will be right for the World Cup.

"I have gradually built (my fielding) to where I have been able to field at more hot spots - at mid-off more and things like that."

Smith's return to full health shapes as a big positive for coach Justin Langer although it remains to be seen whether he will bat at No. 3 or 4 for Australia.

Smith landed heavily on his elbow while taking a catch to remove David Warner last week while he took another catch to remove Marcus Stoinis for a golden duck in his final match.

Smith scored 319 runs in the IPL at an average of 39.9 and a strike-rate of 116.

News Corp Australia


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