Injured Smith doubtful for Australia's T20 opener

Australia faces India in a three-match Twenty20 International series, but could be without captain Steve Smith for the opening clash.

Australia captain Steve Smith has not played a T20I since its quarterfinal defeat to India at the World Cup in 2016.   -  Getty Images

Australia could be without captain Steve Smith for the opening Twenty20 meeting with India on Saturday due to injury.

Smith is a doubt for the first match in the three-game series as he is struggling with a shoulder problem, Cricket Australia confirmed.

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He underwent an MRI scan after training on Thursday and skipped much of Friday's session, meaning Australia will make a late call on his participation in Ranchi.

With the Ashes series on the horizon, Australia will not be likely to take any unnecessary risks with the batsman's fitness.

If he is absent for the match with India, vice-captain David Warner is likely to deputise in the skipper's role.

Smith has not played a T20 for his country since March 2016, when India was again the opponent.