Australia batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the ODI series with England after picking up a thigh strain. The injury is not said to be serious, but with the return Ashes series just around the corner, the Australian management are not taking any chances. 

"After a demanding Ashes series, the national selection panel has decided it is best for him to return to Australia," said Cricket Australia.

Smith, who scored his maiden Test century in the final Ashes test at the Oval, picked up the injury in a training session on Wednesday. He was one of Australia's star turns in their 3-0 defeat, scoring 345 runs at an average of 38.33, as well as picking up four wickets.

In addition to his 138 not out at the Oval, he scored two half centuries in the series. Having started the tour as a bit-part player, Smith is expected to play an important role in the return series, both batting in the middle order and providing an alternative spin option.

Last night, in the first of two T20 internationals, Aaron Finch smashed 156 as Australia romped home by 39 runs, despite Joe Root's 90 not out.

The second and final T20 international takes place at Chester-le-street, where England secured their Ashes victory, on Saturday. They will be hoping to bounce back with a win after Finch's demolition job at the Rose Bowl.

No replacement has been summoned for Smith for the five match ODI series that begins next Friday at Headingley. Before that, Australia face Scotland at the Grange in a one-off ODI.

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Topics:
#The Ashes
#Australia cricket
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