- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Steve Smith has played his first competitive cricket match in six months, opening the batting for Delhi Capitals in their IPL clash with Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Australian star top-scored for the Capitals with 39, however it wasn't enough to prevent his side suffering a three-wicket loss.
'SAD TO HEAR': Fears after cricket great rushed to hospital
'ON A VENTILATOR': Shane Warne opens up on battle with Covid-19
Smith looked to be in good form for someone who hasn't played in half a year, however a horror moment late in his innings showed he was still a bit rusty.
Smith tried to ramp Lockie Ferguson over fine leg, stepping over to the off-side to give himself plenty of room.
However the former Aussie captain was left writhing in pain when he accidentally edged the ball straight into his groin.
Smith let out a wail of pain before collapsing to the ground on his back.
He managed to get back to his feet after a short rest, but his innings came to a close not long after.
Smith batted for an hour then chopped on a delivery from Ferguson in Sharjah, where the Capitals failed to hit a single six in their total of 9-127.
"Not an easy surface ... it's one of those wickets, you just have to scrap," Smith told broadcasters.
Fans had a field day with the embarrassing moment on social media, with England's Barmy Army even taking a dig.
Steve Smith looking up at Joe Root in the ICC Test Batting rankings pic.twitter.com/SYWfonrD0J
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) September 28, 2021
Burn. But without Ben & Jofra, the Ashes are as good as gone.
— Chirag Wakaskar (@chiragwakaskar) September 28, 2021
Breaking: Steve Smith trials new batting stance aimed at giving English bowlers a chance against him.
— Jamie Simmons (@JamiesonSimmons) September 29, 2021
Steve Smith is so good he just plays the ball lying down now pic.twitter.com/VEeOUv4sCt
— Tom Carpenter (@Carpo34) September 28, 2021
#KKRvDC Steve Smith....gets hit in the nuts, then gets out. Class.........
— Nik@Tales of Arise (@Hazamatoxin) September 28, 2021
That was Steve Smith’s wicket more than Ferguson lol
— Yash😊🏏🪓 (@YashR066) September 28, 2021
Steven smith looking down at better Test batters than him. pic.twitter.com/8T59P42mR2
— KH SAKIB 🇧🇩 (@Crickettalks91) September 28, 2021
steve smith looking up and down at himself pic.twitter.com/MaVUhNqSUm
— ham (@gauderham) September 28, 2021
Smith was forced to miss Australia's recent limited-overs tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh because of an elbow injury.
Earlier this month, he landed in the UAE for the second phase of the IPL as he sought to shake off the rust ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup.
Delhi coach Ricky Ponting, having recruited Smith for the bargain basement price of $389,000 at the start of this year, opted against picking the right-hander in recent matches.
He was overlooked after compatriot Marcus Stoinis suffered his untimely hamstring injury but the enforced omission of Prithvi Shaw meant the Australian opened the batting against Kolkata.
Doubts around Steve Smith and David Warner
It remains unclear whether Smith will remain in the XI, with Delhi captain Rishabh Pant indicating Shaw should be fit for the franchise's next game.
"When Steve Smith played in Chennai (earlier this year) he did a good job for us," Pant said.
"We thought we're going to give him a chance and see how he does."
Australia coach Justin Langer will be desperate for Smith and David Warner, recently dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad for the second time this season, to get on the park as much as possible in coming weeks.
However Warner is not expected to be recalled by the Sunrisers after watching their last-start win on television from the team hotel.
It also remains unclear whether Stoinis will play another IPL game before linking up with Australia's T20 World Cup squad.
Pant noted the hulking all-rounder will take longer to return than Shaw, with Delhi only having three regular-season games remaining before a likely finals appearance.
Glenn Maxwell is one of few Australians to enjoy a productive IPL stint, having smacked a brisk 56 earlier this week that earned high praise from his Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.