Steve Smith will be captaining the Australian Test team in place of Pat Cummins in the upcoming third Test match in Indore against India starting on March 1. Cummins had to return to Sydney after the second Test match due to his mother’s illness and palliative care, and he will not be able to make it back to India in time for the third Test match, which has a nine-day gap between the matches.
“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.
The Australian cricket team’s hopes in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series have taken yet another hit with the absence of their 29-year-old pacer. This comes after pacer Josh Hazlewood and opener David Warner had to return home due to injuries. The team will now be looking towards left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc to replace their captain and lead the pace attack.
Steve Smith, who has captained Australia in 34 Tests between 2014 and 2018, including Australia’s most recent Test tour of India in 2017, will be taking over as the captain in the absence of Pat Cummins. In the 2017 tour, Smith’s performance was dominant with the bat, scoring three centuries. However, in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, he has only been able to score 71 runs in four innings at an average of 23.66.
Currently, India has an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing four-match Test series. With Captain Pat Cummins’ absence, the Australians will face an even tougher challenge. The team will have to work extra hard to turn things around in the upcoming third Test match in Indore starting March 1.