Cummins not to return for ODI series, Smith to continue as captain

Steve Smith will continue to lead Australia for the three-match ODI series against India starting on Friday with regular skipper Pat Cummins not returning to India. After the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar series, Cummins returned home due to his mother’s illness. However, his mother Maria passed away last week after battling breast cancer. The first match of this three-match series will be played in Mumbai on Friday.

Australia coach Andrew McDonald said, “Pat (Cummins) is not coming back. He is dealing with what happened in his home. “Our thoughts are with Pat and his family as they go through this sad time,” he told ‘’. No name has been announced in place of Cummins in the 15-man squad. Smith captained Australia in the last two Tests of the four-match series, in which India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2–1 win.

India won the first two Tests while Australia were victorious in the third match at Indore. The Ahmedabad match ended in a dull draw. Nathan Ellis has been included in the squad after fast bowler Jhye Richardson was injured. Veteran David Warner, who was ruled out of the last two Tests due to an elbow injury, is set to return to the limited-overs side. Apart from Cummins and Richardson, Australia will also miss Josh Hazlewood in the fast bowling department.

He is not in the team due to injury. Ashton Agar is back after being sent home midway through the Test series. He can play with Zampa in spin bowling. The series saw the return of Glenn Maxwell (fractured leg) and Mitchell Marsh (ankle surgery) after recovering from serious injuries. McDonald said, “We have selected the team keeping in mind the balance. We will try to go with eight batsmen for depth in the batting. Before the World Cup, we want to try some combinations. Cummins was given this responsibility after the retirement of limited overs captain Aaron Finch. However, he has captained only two ODIs so far.

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