RANCHI: In a deadly blow to Australia's prospects in the T20I series against India, skipper Steve Smith was ruled out with a shoulder problem and his deputy David Warner will lead the tourists in the three-match rubber starting here on Saturday.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis will replace Smith in the T20 squad.
According to a Cricket Australia statement, Smith underwent an MRI scan on his sore right shoulder following training here on Thursday and after he sat out most of Friday night's session, it's been confirmed that he will head back to Australia to rest.
Smith landed awkwardly on his right shoulder during the fifth One-day International (ODI) in Nagpur last week and he's experienced soreness that has been restricting his ability to bat and throw.
"He has had an MRI scan which has excluded serious injury, but we believe the best course of action is for him to not continue to aggravate his shoulder and allow it to recover," team doctor Richard Saw said.
"He will have further investigation upon his return to Australia but we remain confident he will be available for the start of the Sheffield Shield season," he added.
Australia lost the just-concluded ODI series against India 1-4 where Smith himself struggled to make an impact, scoring 142 runs in the five matches.
Incidentally, the right-hander hasn't played a T20I since the World T20 last year.