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IND vs AUS: Pat Cummins off to Australia, Steve Smith may lead in absence

Following his team’s six-wicket defeat in the second Test at Delhi, Australian captain Pat Cummins has returned home due to family related issue.

Australian skipper Pat Cummins and Steve Smith. (Photo- ICC)

According to ESPNCricinfo, Cummins will be traveling to Sydney for a few days, but he is expected to return to India to prepare for the third Test, which is set to take place in Indore from March 1. The Australian team is currently trailing 2-0 in the four-match series.

In the event that Cummins is unable to play in the Indore Test, vice-captain Steve Smith will lead the Australian side, although Cummins is anticipated to be back in time for the match.

Smith has filled in for Cummins as captain on two previous occasions. The first time was during the 2021-22 Ashes series when Cummins was unable to play in the second Test due to a close Covid contact. The second occasion was last year’s day-night Test against West Indies when Cummins was out due to a quad injury.

In the event that Cummins is unable to lead in the upcoming Indore Test, Smith will take over as captain. The team is currently trailing 2-0 in the four-match series against India.

Australia is making preparations to have a fast bowling cover available for the Indore Test, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood working to regain full fitness. The squad still has Scott Boland and Lance Morris available. All-rounder Cameron Green is also set to return for the third Test after missing the first two matches due to a fractured finger.

In an effort to turn the series around, Cummins suggested that more changes might be made to the squad. Meanwhile, the team will keep an eye on David Warner’s fitness, as the experienced opener was ruled out of the Delhi Test due to a concussion. During the first innings of that match, he also sustained a hairline fracture in his left elbow after being hit by Mohammed Siraj’s delivery.

Todd Murphy, who impressed with a seven-wicket haul in the first Test, is nursing a slight side strain. He bowled almost 25 overs in the Delhi Test, including some overs in the fourth innings.

Additionally, leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, who left the tour to attend the birth of his child, may be available for selection in the upcoming Test.

The squad already has options in pace bowling with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, and Lance Morris, though the fitness of the first two is uncertain.

All-rounder Cameron Green is set to return after recovering from a finger injury that kept him out of the first two Tests.

Australia vs India 3rd Test, Date, Timing and Venue Details

Match: India vs Australia

Date: 1st – 5th March 2023

Time: 11pm EST (-1d) | 4am GMT | 9:30am Local IST

Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

Also See: Complete IPL Schedule for 2023 Season is out, see details and download PDF Format

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