Steve Smith in line for late Ashes call-up

Updated: Jun 20, 2013, 09:54 AM IST

Sydney: Australian cricketer Steve Smith is reportedly expected to be included as a reserve batsman for the Ashes squad following captain Michael Clarke`s ongoing back injury and opener David Warner`s suspension.

Among Australia`s struggling batsmen, Smith, a better spinner than pacer, has been one of the few good news stories this year and is unlucky not to have been included in the original Ashes squad.

Named captain of the Australia A tour to Zimbabwe and South Africa in July and August, Smith is also the leading run-scorer for the A side on their current tour of the British Isles, although Cricket Australia`s (CA) high performance manager Pat Howard said that this does not preclude Smith or any other player in the 15-man A squad from being seconded for Ashes.

According to Howard, CA will have to assess players` movements after the Gloucestershire game to decide on their possible selection for the Ashes, although he added that they are not going to put barriers in the way of the Ashes team getting the best preparation they can.

The wayward and injury-prone Shaun Marsh has also been included in the A team to tour Africa.