Steve Smith will lead the Australian Test team against India in the third Test match in Indore starting March 1 as Pat Cummins will not return next week from Australia due to family reasons.
Cummins had to fly back home to Sydney after losing the second Test match, explaining in a statement that his mother ‘is ill and in palliative care’. He was supposed to return back from home because there was a nine-day break between the second Test match in New Delhi to the third Test match in Indore.
“I have decided against returning to India at this time. I feel I am best being here with my family. I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received from Cricket Australia and my teammates. Thanks for your understanding, ” said Australian captain Pat Cummins as per cricket.com.au.
JUST IN: Pat Cummins will remain home for the third #INDvAUS Test in Indore after he this week returned to Sydney due to a family illness | @LouisDBCameron https://t.co/zlAXrSclc5 pic.twitter.com/COIpgKUpfD
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 24, 2023
The 29-year-old pacer’s absence is the latest blow to Aussies’ hopes in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. Earlier, pacer Josh Hazlewood and opener David Warner returned home due to injuries. Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc will likely be the replacement of his captain and will lead the pace attack.
Smith has captained Australia in 34 Tests between 2014 and 2018, including Australia’s most recent Test tour of India in 2017, a controversy-marred campaign in which Smith dominated with the bat, scoring three centuries. In the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series he has scored 71 runs in four innings at an average of 23.66.
India have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing four-match Test series and Captain Pat Cummins’ absence will make things more difficult for the visitors. (ANI)