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Steve Smith to captain Australia in fourth Test against India, Pat Cummins will have to stay at home




Star batsman Steve Smith will lead Australia in the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after regular skipper Pat Cummins has decided not to return to India. Smith will once again captain Australia, who won the team a morale-boosting nine-wicket win in the third Test in Indore last week. Cummins, who left the tour after the second Test in Delhi last month, will remain in Sydney where his mother Maria is ill with breast cancer and is in palliative care.

“Pat Cummins has pulled out of the fourth Test against India in Ahmedabad to be with his family in Australia,” Cricket Australia said in a brief statement.

“Steve Smith to captain Australia in the final Test of this series.”

Cricket Australia, however, did not mention whether Cummins would feature in the upcoming ODI series against India.

Pacer Nathan Ellis has been included in Australia’s squad for the ODI series starting March 17 as a replacement for the injured Jhye Richardson.

After leading Australia to a famous victory, Smith suggested that his time as captain was “over” and it was now “pat’s team”.

“My time is up. It’s Pat’s team now,” Smith told reporters after the nine-wicket victory. “I’ve obviously been able to stand by this week in obviously difficult circumstances with Patty going home. Our thoughts are still with her back home.

“But India is a part of the world that I love to captain… It’s probably my favorite place in the world to captain.

“Every ball is an event and so what happens afterwards can decide, which is something I really love and you have to be ahead of the game.

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

If Cummins doesn’t play in the ODIs, Australia can look at Smith and Alex Carey.

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