Steve Smith stays Australia captain for final Test against India

Australia have confirmed that stand-in captain Steve Smith will continue to lead the visitors in the final Test against India in Ahmedabad. 

Pat Cummins, who left India following the second Test in Delhi last month, will remain in Sydney to be with his mother Maria, who is in palliative care due to breast cancer.

In Cummin’s absence, Smith stood in as Australia skipper in Indore Test and led the team to their first win of the tour. Spinners, Nathan Lyon and Matthew Kuhnemann, were on charge in the third Test when Australia defeated India by nine wickets inside three days.

With the win, Australia also secured a spot in the ICC World Test Championship Final,  scheduled from June 7 to 11 at the Oval, London.

Although the outcome of the final match of the Border-Gavaskar Test series, starting from Thursday, will not affect Australia’s standing in the Test Championship, a draw or a loss, can impact India’s chances to qualify for the final.

Meanwhile, Cummins’ availability for the ODI leg of the India series, which begins on 17 March in Mumbai, is still unclear yet. He was appointed the ODI captain last year after Aaron Finch decided to step down.

Earlier, Australia confirmed one change to the ODI squad, with Nathan Ellis filling the void for the injured Jhye Richardson, who was ruled out due to hamstring issues.

Australia’s ODI squad for ODI series against India: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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