SYDNEY: Steve Smith has returned to the nets after elbow surgery, with Australia coach Justin Langer expecting the banned former captain and his deputy David Warner to be fit for the IPL.
Smith went under the knife in January after being forced to drop out of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament with a ligament problem.
He has been in a brace since, but picked up a bat again and had a session at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
“Great to have my first hit back. The elbow is feeling good,” Smith posted to his 1.4 million Instagram followers with a short video early Friday.
Smith and Warner become eligible for international selection again on March 29 after serving year-long bans for their part in attempting to alter the ball during a Test against South Africa.
Warner also returned home from Bangladesh with an injured elbow, though less serious than Smith. He too had surgery and was also at the SCG on Thursday.
He crossed paths there with former South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, who has settled in Sydney with his wife.
Morkel was training at the ground ahead of a stint with English county side Surrey, and told the Cricket Australia website that having Smith and Warner back would be good for the game.
“It´s the first time I´ve seen Davey since South Africa,” Morkel said, referring to the Cape Town Test where the tampering scandal unfolded and Warner and Smith were sent home in disgrace.
“Obviously as a cricket supporter I´m rapt for him to get back on the field. It will be great to see him and Steve (Smith) play and it will be great for Australia as well.”