Smith has been one of the blinking lights for Australia, scoring 53 in the first Test and an unbeaten hundred at Hove against Sussex at the weekend, along with some handy wickets with his part time leg-spin.
If he’s not 100 per cent to play on Thursday in Manchester, Warner would be a straight swap into the middle order, where coach Darren Lehmann has already said he would slot in should he return to the side.
Warner was recalled to the squad after slaying 193 for Australia A in South Africa and joined them in the UK this morning.
Despite disappointing returns at the top of the order, Warner isn’t likely to replace either Chris Rogers or Shane Watson in his preferred opening spot.
Rogers and Watson weren’t with the Aussie side in Sussex, instead training in London and Manchester with batting coach Michael Di Venuto.
Their partnership was considered key for the Aussies at the start of the series, with Rogers’ experience on England wickets and Watson’s ability to pile on quick runs considered a weapon.
But they’ve offered just one partnership over 50 in their four innings together, which Rogers has found
“I think there’s been times where we’ve felt like we’re putting a little bit of pressure back on them and setting the side up and then lost a wicket … well Watto’s got out and I’ve got out shortly after so that’s been disappointing,” Rogers told the SMH. “It’s important for the side that we’re doing a good job at the top.
“I think I’ve been doing some pretty good things and then just getting out. And that’s been the disappointing thing. I know I’ve got to be better and whether that’s concentration or whatever.
“I guess in some respects I’ve been trying too hard, just trying to work really hard and bogging myself down a bit. I’ve been thinking about it a lot naturally and hopefully I can be better for the next few matches.”