Australia captain Pat Cummins will miss the third Border-Gavaskar Test against India in Indore to remain home in Sydney for family reasons.
Cummins left India just hours after the second Test loss in Delhi, flying home to Sydney to be with his mother who is seriously ill. He was booked to return to India on the weekend and join the team in Indore on Sunday ahead of the third Test starting on Wednesday, but he has decided to remain at home with his family in the short term.
“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. “I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received from Cricket Australia and my team-mates. Thanks for your understanding.”
Test vice-captain Steven Smith will lead the side in Indore. Smith has stood in for Cummins twice in Test matches since the fast bowler took over the captaincy.
Cummins was named to captain Australia’s ODI team in the three-match series that follows the Test series but it remains to be seen whether he will return to India at all.
Mitchell Starc is expected to be fit for the Indore Test having recovered from his finger injury after nearly playing in Delhi. Australia also have Scott Boland and Lance Morris as fast-bowling options.
Boland played the first Test in Nagpur alongside Cummins but was squeezed out in Delhi when Australia opted for three spinners. Morris was a chance to fly home to play some domestic cricket but was kept in India as cover for Cummins.
Legspinner Mitchell Swepson is returning to the squad after flying home prior to the second Test for the birth of his first child. Cameron Green has also declared himself 100 percent fit after nearly playing in Delhi.
Josh Hazlewood, David Warner and Ashton Agar have also flown home for various reasons this week but Australia did not add any other players to the squad as the selectors felt there was enough cover for the final two Tests of the series.