Steve Smith is all set to lead Australia in three-match ODI series against India after Pat Cummins has decided to stay back in Australia. Pat Cummins had gone home after the humiliating loss in the second test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy to attend to his ailing mother.
Initially, he was expected to come back for the Indore test to lead the side, but he decided to stay back and be with his family during a tough situation. He subsequently missed the last test in Ahmedabad as well.
Cummins’s mother, Maria, was diagnosed with breast cancer way back in 2005, and her condition deteriorated in the last few weeks. She breathed her last at her home on 9th March.
“Pat won’t be returning because he’s still handling the situation at home. We are thinking of Pat and his family as they go through these challenging times, “said Andrew McDonald, head coach.
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Steve Smith led the Australia team in the recently concluded Border Gavaskar Trophy in the last two tests after Cummins returned home. The Australian team was down and out after disappointing performances in the first two tests. The team was plagued with many injuries, but Smith revived the team’s fortune and led them to a historic test win in Indore and also secured the spot in the WTC final. The Australian team was on top for the first two days of the last test as well before the match ended in a draw.
Steve Smith will lead the team in team in Cummin’s absence. Also, no replacement has been announced for Cummins.
Australia is already missing the services of pacers like Josh Hazelwood and Jhye Richardson due to various injuries. Nathan Ellis has been announced as a replacement for Richardson, who is forced to undergo hamstring surgery. Sean Abbott has already been named to the squad for Hazelwood.
But there is some positive news for the Aussies camp, senior opener David Warner (elbow fracture), Glex maxwell (broken leg), and Mitchell Marsh (ankle surgery) will soon return to the ODI squad after missing out on test series due to serious injuries.
Aston Agar will return to play the ODI series after being sent home midway through the test series due to a not-so-impressive red ball performance. He will handle the spinning duties with Adam Zampa.
Right playing combination
Head coach Andrew McDonald suggested the main emphasis is on choosing how many all-rounders we should play in the playing eleven, with the likes of Green, Stonis, Marsh, and Agar in the squad.
“We’ve had a few discussions about how the team should be balanced, and we’ve tried batting with eight batters to go a little deeper. As we approach the World Cup, there will be a variety of combinations”, said McDonald.
The upcoming three ODI series against India will hold special significance, as it will act as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming ODI world cup set to take place in India later this year.
Three match ODI series against India will start on March 17 in Mumbai.
Australia’s Squad for ODI Series
Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Alex Carry (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott, Mitchel Strac, Nathan Ellis.