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Steve Smith to lead ODI side in India

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Steve Smith is set to lead Australia in the upcoming three-match ODI series against India as Pat Cummins continues to stay back in Australia. Cummins had gone back to Australia after the second Test of the series to be with his ailing mother, who subsequently passed away.

“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,” said head coach Andrew McDonald.

Smith, who led in the Test matches in Cummins’s absence, will take over the side. There has been no replacement named for Cummins. The side is already missing the services of Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson who were out injured. While Nathan Ellis had been called up as a replacement for the latter, Sean Abbott had already been named in the squad. Australia will also see the return of David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh who had been sidelined due to injuries recently.

The series will act as a dress rehearsal for the ODI World Cup set to take place later in the year in the same country.

“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.

“(There are) a lot of allrounders picked in the squad and can they all play in the one team? So we’ve got to answer a few of those questions,” said McDonald.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), Alex Carey (wk), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, 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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