Australia captain Steve Smith isn’t allowed to play in the upcoming Test series against India, but he’ll still play a role in the mission to bring down Virat Kohli.
Smith is serving a 12-month suspension from elite cricket for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in March. He won’t be available to play for his country until March 2019.
But the former world No.1 batsman has been invited by Australia’s bowlers to join net sessions in the lead-up to the first Test, in Adelaide on December 6.
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Smith will be brought back into the fold of the national side to help the bowlers prepare for Kohli – the form batsman in the world.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins will all bowl to Smith as they sit out the Sheffield Shield round to focus on their training.
“(Smith is) someone the three of us have bowled a fair bit to over the last little while at training,” Starc told Fairfax Media.
“To get the view of a batsman who is facing us, get his opinion on how we’re tracking, is always great as well.
“There’s talking bowling coaches then there’s talking to the guys you’re bowling to. That’s a great opportunity to have him face us in our preparation leading up to the Tests.”
Fellow banned batsman David Warner has already been helping the Australian bowlers.
Warner went to the SCG nets on Sunday afternoon to face the star quicks who will lead Australia’s attack. His presence was given the blessing of national coach Justin Langer.
Smith has already been helping out around the NSW Blues set-up while he serves his Cricket Australia suspension.
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“He was around training (Thursday) with the Blues. We said we have a few overs to bowl next week and we said if you want to have a hit he was more than happy to oblige,” Starc said.
“It’ll be great to bowl to him in the nets. He’s one of the best in the world, to even get his thoughts on how we’re tracking will always be good for us.”