Steve Smith 'defying' back condition similar to Clarke ahead of Ashes

Sydney, Nov 4 (ANI): Australian player Steve Smith is defying a back condition similar to that suffered by captain Michael Clarke ahead of the Ashes series Down Under.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 24-year-old will enter the Ashes this month as an automatic middle-order selection for Australia, with his reputation soaring after a string of fine performances since his unlikely recall in India, capped off by a maiden Test hundred in England.

Smith said that he is managing a back complaint not unlike that of Clarke, who was diagnosed with degenerative discs at the age of 17 and has dealt with the chronic injury since, the report said.

Clarke, who is eight years older than his state deputy, has managed to miss only one Test, against India in Delhi this year, due to injury since his career began in 2004, the report added.

While the captain's back has become more problematic the older he gets he has become a source of advice for Smith, who withdrew early from the Indian Premier League this year with back soreness, the report further said.

Smith said that Clarke had obviously been through it all, so he talks to him a little bit here and there. (ANI)

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