Smith reveals flu battle amid injury crisis

    Australia is hoping the flu does not sweep through its camp after Steve Smith revealed he’d battled the virus in the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test.

    Smith combined with David Warner for a 239-run partnership which put the home side in the driver’s seat on day two, with Australia ending the day holding a 197-run first-innings lead over South Africa with seven wickets still in the shed.

    The vice-captain was one of two men dismissed on day two, caught off the bowling of Anrich Nortje on 85, but said he “felt ordinary” after he and Warner felt the full brunt of the Melbourne heat.

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    “I’ve been pretty crook actually on the last few days and had the flu, so it wasn’t much fun out there,” he said.

    “Every time we ran a two or a three it really took it out of you, so I was just trying to suck in a few deep breaths and take as much time as we could in between those long runs.

    “I actually didn’t feel like I batted very well at all. I didn’t feel in a good space. I was fortunate to get the runs and have the partnership that we did, but I didn’t feel very good out there.”

    Smith said he did not have any knowledge of any other teammates being struck down with the flu.

    Despite losing just two wickets, Australia lost two more batters, with both Warner and Cameron Green retiring hurt.

    Warner was unable to continue his innings shortly after posting the third double-century of his career due to exhaustion and cramping, but is expected to bat on day three if required.

    Green’s participation is under more doubt after the talented all-rounder was sent for scans following a nasty blow that left his right hand bleeding.

    The blow to Green’s hand came after Mitchell Starc also suffered a finger injury while fielding on the opening day.

    In positive news, Starc is expected to partake in the remainder of the Test and will also bowl if required in South Africa’s second innings.

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