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New Zealand vs Australia cricket Test series: Steve Smith opens up about helmet blow

Steve Smith was in shock after being hit on the back of the helmet during the second trans-Tasman Test.

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Smith hit the deck on day two of the contest after being struck by a Neil Wagner bouncer.

The 26-year-old went on to score 138, having been assessed by team doctor Peter Brukner for signs of concussion.

"I've only ever been hit in the head about three times," Smith said.

"He was bowling quite quick out there.

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"It was a little bit of a shock and I did a few concussion tests and passed those thankfully and was able to get on with the game."

Phillip Hughes' shock death in 2014, when he was felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match in Sydney, has changed the sport in many ways.

Concern is now immediately etched on the face of players any time a batsman is struck on the helmet.

Joe Burns rushed up from the non-striker's end after Smith's blow, as did Wagner and the other 10 New Zealand players.

"Joe at the other end was a little bit shocked and a couple of the New Zealand players might have been as well," Smith said.

"It's never nice seeing anyone get hit in the head, let alone being the one being hit."

Wagner continued his bouncer barrage throughout the match, which the tourists won by seven wickets to claim the No.1 Test ranking.

But Smith adopted a more aggressive approach to Wagner's short-pitched salvo on day five.

The right-hander slapped the first delivery he faced from Wagner over fine leg's head for six.

The skipper unleashed some unorthodox strokes as he continued to treat Wagner with disdain; swatting the ball down the ground at almost every opportunity.

"I tried to change my gameplan in the second innings, not trying to get underneath any and just trying to take them on. Thankfully that worked," Smith said.

Wagner earned the praise of Brendon McCullum after sending down 50.1 overs in the match, many of them with a broken finger.

"You could see at the end that he was out on his feet," McCullum said.

"It takes a toll on any bowler to bowl 2-3 overs of shorter-pitched bowling. For him to be able to do it for 35 overs of a Test match is phenomenal.

"He's not the most skilled cricketer that we have but geez, it's hard to past him in terms of his attitude ... he's got that little bit of mongrel."

AAP

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