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Steve Smith’s fitness doubt and Jofra Archer’s impact provide mood swing | Vic Marks

Australia’s key problem heading into the third Test surrounds their best batsman while England have a new special weapon

The respite between Tests is brief but at least there is some scope for measured decisions. For Australia the key problem surrounds their best batsman, Steve Smith.

During the Lord’s match there was barely any time for their backroom staff to decide whether he should resume his innings on Saturday afternoon. Citing the fact Smith was desperate to get his name on the famous honours boards in the pavilion, a tradition that feels like an ancient rite when in fact these boards are a relatively recent innovation, he was allowed to return to the crease 40 minutes after retiring hurt, though he could not score the 20 additional runs needed to prod the engravers into action.

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