IND VS AUS: Steve Smith will lead Australia in the upcoming three-match ODI series against India, starting March 17 in Mumbai as the incumbent ODI skipper Pat Cummins won’t be coming back to India to take part in the series after the sad demise of his mother. Notably, Smith led Australia in Cummins’ absence in the final two Tests of the four-match series of the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won by a margin of 2-1.

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It was last week when Cummins’ Maria passed away after her elongated battle with breast cancer. Former Australia all-rounder and current head coach Andrew McDonald informed the passing of Cummins’ mother after which the players decided to wear black armbands as a mark of respect and tribute. 

Cummins became Australia’s ODI captain last year after the expected retirement of Aaron Finch from the one-day format. So far in his small stint, the premier pacer has led the team in only two ODIs. Head coach McDonald confirmed that Cummins will be staying home with his family in the hard times, which means Smith will continue to lead the Aussies as they take on the number one ODI team in the world.

IND VS AUS: Steve Smith to Fill Cummins’ Shoes

Steve Smith Replaces Pat Cummins as the Captain for the India ODIs
Steve Smith Replaces Pat Cummins as the Captain for the India ODIs

“Pat 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. 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,” coach Andrew McDonald said.

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Smith has previously, too, led the five-time World Cup winners in ODIs. He has an impressive win/loss ratio of 1.086 over 51 matches. A polarizing figure in the dressing room, Smith commands respect from everyone in the team and brings a wealth of experience to the table, and has an incredibly successful record against India with the bat in hand. In 2017, Smith led Australia in the ODI series against India. Being a senior member of the team who understands the game better than most, Smith will be aiming for a series win against the hosts of this year’s ICC World Cup, scheduled to take place this year in India.

Australia ODI 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.

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