IND vs AUS: Steve Smith to lead Australia in fourth Test

Pat Cummins will remain in Australia to be with his family with Steve Smith to captain Australia for second consecutive Test

Australia’s captain Steve Smith (L) gestures during the first day of the third Test cricket match between India and Australia at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on 1 March, 2023. AFP

Ahmedabad: Australia will be captained by Steve Smith in the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with regular skipper Pat Cummins to stay home. The fourth Test, with series in favour of India 2-1, will get underway on 9 March.

Cummins had flown back to Sydney where his mother Maria is ill with breast cancer and is in palliative care.

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“Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the fourth Test against India in Ahmedabad to remain in Australia with his family,” Cricket Australia said in a brief statement. “Steve Smith will captain Australia in the final Test of this series.”

Smith steered Australia to a nine-wicket win over India in the third Test played in Indore. After the three day contest, Smith made clear that it was Cummins’ team and was only filling in as a stop-gap solution.

“My time is done. It’s Pat’s team now,” Smith told reporters in Indore. “I’ve obviously been able to stand in this week, obviously in tough circumstances with Patty going home. Our thoughts are still with him back home.

“But India is a part of the world I love captaining … it’s probably my favourite place in the world to captain.

“Every ball is an event and therefore can dictate what happens after, which is something that I really love and you’ve got to be ahead of the game.

“So I thought I did it well this week and it was good fun.”

Cummins is part of Australia’s ODI squad too and it remains unclear if he would return for the limited overs portion of the series either.

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