Pat Cummins, captain of Australia, will miss the third Border-Gavaskar Test against India in Indore due to family obligations.
Cummins departed India barely hours after the second Test defeat in Delhi, going to Australia to be with his gravely ill mother. He was scheduled to return to India on the weekend and join the team in Indore on Sunday prior to the commencement of the third Test on Wednesday, but he has elected to stay with his family for the time being.
“Due to my mother’s illness and palliative care, I’ve opted not to return to India at this time. I feel most comfortable being with my family “Cummins said. “I am grateful for the amazing support from Cricket Australia and my teammates. Thank you for your comprehension.”
In Indore, vice-captain Steven Smith will lead the team. Smith has replaced Cummins twice in Test matches since the fast bowler assumed the role of captain.
Cummins was selected captain of Australia’s One-Day International team for the three-match series that follows the Test series, although it is uncertain whether he will return to India at all.
Mitchell Starc is set to be fit for the Indore Test after recovering from a finger ailment that nearly precluded his participation in the Delhi match. Australia also has Scott Boland and Lance Morris available as fast bowlers.
Boland played alongside Cummins in the first Test in Nagpur, but was replaced in Delhi when Australia went for three spinners. Morris had the opportunity to return home and play local cricket, but he was kept in India as Cummins’ backup.
Mitchell Swepson is rejoining the squad after travelling home for the birth of his first child before to the second Test. After nearly playing in Delhi, Cameron Green has also declared himself 100 percent fit.
Josh Hazlewood, David Warner, and Ashton Agar have also returned home for various reasons this week, but Australia did not add any new players to the squad for the next two Tests of the series as the selectors thought they had sufficient depth.
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