Australia batsman Steve Smith was forced to retire hurt after being hit on the side of the head by a Jofra Archer bouncer on the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Saturday. Smith was in sight of his third successive Ashes hundred when, on 80, he turned his head away from an express delivery from England fast bowler Archer timed at 92.4 mph. The star batsman fell face forward onto the ground and received several minutes of on-field treatment involving both Australian and England medical staffs amid concerns he could be concussed.
Archer, making his Test debut, had previously struck Smith on his unprotected forearm with another bouncer.
Fans on Twitter were unhappy with Archer’s conduct as he did not check up on Smith and was seen smiling moments later.
Here is how Twitter reacted
6 short balls in an over and a half. Where did you think this was going to end up Archer?
And you’re cracking up laughing.
— Ed (@terkey76) August 17, 2019
I know it’s Test cricket and it’s brutal but that was one of the nastier hits you’ll see. Absolutely flush to the head. Archer laughing doesn’t sit comfortably with me. Am I alone?
— Neroli Meadows (@Neroli_M_FOX) August 17, 2019
Don’t mind seeing the hostility from Archer, very reminiscent of Johnson 13-14 Ashes. But reckon when you hit someone: 1. You go and check on them and 2. You have enough class not to laugh. #Ashes19 #Ashes
— James Mottershead (@mottersjames) August 17, 2019
For all Archer’s bravado short shit ( plus the horrendous coverage of it all ) he didn’t get Smith out – he hit him with a bumper. Well done champ. You turn your back walk back to your bowling mark giggling like a school kid look at the scoreboard – you didn’t get him out
— Liam Pickering (@lennyp23) August 17, 2019
— Craig Eldred (@CraigSEldred) August 17, 2019
— Nathaniel Bane (@natbane) August 17, 2019
— MUHAMMAD HAMZA INAM (@Hamzainam) August 17, 2019
Smith eventually got to his feet and then, after a prolonged conversation with Australia team doctor Richard Saw, decided to retire hurt with Smith receiving a generous round of applause as he walked back into the pavilion.
Australia were then 203/6, 55 runs behind England’s first-innings 258.
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.
(With AFP Inputs)