Pat Cummins to remain in Australia for third Test, Steve Smith to captain team

Australian captain Pat Cummins will miss the third Test in India as he remains in Australia to be with his ill mother.

Steve Smith will skipper the team in Cummins’ absence, leading the side for the third time since being stripped of the captaincy in the wake of the sandpaper scandal.

Cummins left India following the second Test in Delhi earlier this week, citing a “serious family illness.”

MORE: Andrew McDonald opens up on Delhi disaster as key players head home

It’s now been revealed the fast bowler’s mother is in palliative care.

“I have decided against returning to India at this time as my mother is ill and in palliative care. I feel I am best being here with my family,” Cummins said in a statement.

“I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received from Cricket Australia and my teammates. Thanks for your understanding.”

Mitchell Starc, who is returning from a finger injury, is expected to replace Cummins in the bowling attack.

It’s been a torrid tour so far for Australia who have been well-beaten by India in the opening two Tests.

David Warner and Josh Hazlewood have also returned to Australia, ruled out of the series with injuries, while Ashton Agar also departed the camp.

With the Border-Gavaskar Trophy already safely in India’s grasp, Australia will be hoping to salvage some pride over the next two Tests in Indore and Ahmedabad.

When did Steve Smith last captain Australia?

Steve Smith was infamously stripped of the captaincy amid the fallout from the Cape Town ball tampering scandal.

The batter was banned from top level cricket for a year, and handed a two-year leadership ban.

With his ban now well expired, Smith is free to assume leadership positions and will do so when the third Test gets underway in Indore on Wednesday.

It will be the third time Smith has captained Australia’s Test side since being stripped of the role, but first time overseas.

Smith has led Australia during both Tests at the Adelaide Oval over the past two home summers, guiding the team to big wins over England and West Indies in the absence of Cummins.

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