By: Shubham Ghosh
Australia captain Pat Cummins has decided against playing the third Test match against India starting in Indore on March 1 due to family emergency. His deputy Steve Smith, a former Australia captain, will lead the visitors in his absence.
Cummins flew back home after Australia lost the second Test match in Delhi inside three days.
According to According to cricket.com.au, “The family emergency that saw Pat Cummins dash back to Australia after the second Test will see the fast bowler remain at home for next week’s third match.”
The Australian’s mother “is ill and in palliative care”, according to media reports.
It was expected that Cummins would come back and rejoin the squad before the third Test but now there is a possibility that he could skip even the fourth Test in Ahmedabad starting March 9.
Australia are trailing the four-Test series 0-2 after losing in Nagpur by an innings and 132 runs and Delhi by six wickets. They created a chance to square the series in Delhi after taking a first innings lead over India but a hapless batting performance in the second outing saw them squandering it.
It will be the third time that Smith will lead Australia in Tests since he was reinstated as vice-captain in 2021 after Cummins took over from Tim Paine. Smith had gone to Dubai with his wife Dani after the second Test and re-joined the Australia squad in Delhi on Thursday (12) evening.
The Australian team is still training at Delhi stadium and will leave for Indore on Sunday (26).
Cummins could pick only three wickets in the two Tests against India and did not bowl in the second innings.
(With agency inputs)