Home » Smith to captain ODIs as Cummins remains at home

Smith to captain ODIs as Cummins remains at home

McDonald backs Warner, gives Khawaja and Cummins update

Steve Smith will retain the captaincy reins for the three-match one-day international series beginning later this week after Australia confirmed Pat Cummins would not return to India after missing the final two Tests.

Cummins departed the tour after the second Test in Delhi to care for his mother Maria, who died from breast cancer last week while the final match in Ahmedabad was being played. 

“Pat won’t be coming back, he’s still taking care of what’s happened back home,” coach Andrew McDonald said. “Our thoughts are with Pat and his family as they go through that grieving process.”

It means Smith will stay on as skipper having led the Test side in their final two matches of the campaign that finished in a drawn match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, setting the series ledger at 2-1 in favour of the hosts. 

Cummins took over the ODI job after Aaron Finch’s retirement last year but has led them in just two matches so far, both coming in a forgettable campaign at home in November against a demotivated England side that had just won the T20 World Cup.

The upcoming series beginning in Mumbai on Friday takes on extra significance given it will be played in the same country hosting the ODI World Cup later this year.

Smith addresses teammates before an ODI against England in November // Getty

McDonald confirmed David Warner, who has not been among the 50-over squad members training in Ahmedabad in recent days, was set to return to the side after missing the final two Tests due to a fractured elbow. 

Cummins has not been replaced in the 15-man squad, but Nathan Ellis was recently recalled after Jhye Richardson was a late withdrawal having been forced to undergo hamstring surgery. 

On the pace front, Josh Hazlewood, who also captained the ODI team during that England series when Cummins missed a match, is absent with an ongoing Achilles injury.

Head, Marnus ensure drawn finish to enthralling series

Ashton Agar has returned after being sent home midway through the Test series and will reform his spin partnership with Adam Zampa. 

The series also marks the returns of Glenn Maxwell (broken leg) and Mitchell Marsh (ankle surgery) from serious injuries. 

McDonald suggested the team is considering how many allrounders, among which also include Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis, can fit into their one-day team.

“We’ve got a couple conversations around the balance of the team we want to play, we’ve gone in with a structure with eight batters to bat a little bit deeper, we’ve tried that,” said the coach.

“So there’ll be a mix of combinations as we lead into the World Cup. 

“(There is) a lot of allrounders picked in the squad and can they all play in the one team. So we’ve got to answer a few of those questions.”

Qantas ODI Tour of India 2023

First ODI: Friday March 17, Mumbai (7pm AEDT)

Second ODI: Sunday March 19, Vizag (7pm AEDT)

Third ODI: Wednesday March 22, Chennai (7pm AEDT)

All matches broadcast live and exclusive on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, K L Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Jaydev Unadkatt