Steve Smith to Lead Australia in India ODI Series as Pat Cummins Will Remain at Home

Last Updated: March 14, 2023, 10:26 IST

Steve Smith also led Australia in the final two Test of the BGT. (AFP Photo)

Steve Smith also led Australia in the final two Test of the BGT. (AFP Photo)

Pat Cummins had returned home midway through the Test series to be with his mother who passed away last week

Steve Smith will captain Australia in the three-match ODI series against India starting later this week after Pat Cummins decided to stay home. Cummins had flown back after the Delhi Test to be with his terminally ill mother who passed away last week.

Smith led Australia in Cummins’ absence in Indore and Ahmedabad as the tourists lost the four-match Test series against India 1-2. However, their victory in Indore helped them seal a spot in the final of the ICC World Test Championship where they will face India in June.

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“Pat won’t be coming back, he’s still taking care of what’s happened back home,” Australia coach Andrew McDonald was quoted as saying by “Our thoughts are with Pat and his family as they go through that grieving process.”

Cummins mother Maria died from breast cancer while the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad was underway. He was named ODI captain after Aaron Finch announced retirement last year with a home series against England being his first assignment.

No replacement will be named although Australia have called up Nathan Ellis into their squad after Jhye Richardson was ruled out due to an injury. Josh Hazlewood, who also left the tour midway due to an Achilles injury, will not be part of the series either.

However, David Warner, who was ruled out after the Delhi Test following an injury, is set to return for the three ODIs starting this Friday.

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“We’ve got a couple conversations around the balance of the team we want to play, we’ve gone in with a structure with eight batters to bat a little bit deeper, we’ve tried that,” McDonald said.

“So there’ll be a mix of combinations as we lead into the World Cup. (There is) a lot of allrounders picked in the squad and can they all play in the one team. So we’ve got to answer a few of those questions,” he added.

The likes of Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh will be making their return from various injuries while Ashton Agar, who was sent home midway through the Test series, has also returned.

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