Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who recently his mother, will not be returning to India for the upcoming three-match ODI series. Cricket Australia (CA) have confirmed that Steve Smith, who led the team in the last two Tests of the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy, will once again marshal the troops in the ODI series.
Cummins’ mother, Maria lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this week, following which the Australian cricketers were seen donning a black band as a sign of respect. The board has now decided not to rush the speedster back into the team, allowing him adequate time to take care of his family.
Speaking about the captain’s absence, Australia’s coach Andrew McDonald stated “Pat (Cummins) won’t be coming back, he’s still taking care of what’s happened back home. Our thoughts are with Pat and his family as they go through that grieving process.”
Barring Cummins, his fellow pace partner Josh Hazlewood will also be unavailable for the ODI series, as he is still recovering from his Achilles injury. There is, however, a bit of positive news for the visitors in terms of players’ availability, with opening batter David Warner having recovered completely from his hairline fracture on his elbow.
There Will Be a Mix of Combinations: Andrew McDonald
In the likes of Josh Inglis, Nathan Ellis and Sean Abbott, Australia have selected players with not much ODI experience under their belt. McDonald, however, clarified his intention of trying out different combinations, in a year where we will also witness the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup being held in India.
” We've got a couple of 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. So there'll be a mix of combinations as we lead into the World Cup,” he said, as per quotes in cricket.com.au.
The ODI series will commence on 17 March, with Mumbai set to host the first match. The action will then move to Visakhapatnam on 19 March, before the concluding act in Chennai, on 22 March.