Australian red-ball captain Pat Cummins has boarded a flight to return to Sydney to attend to a close family member’s health crisis. A member of Cummins’ family is believed to have taken ill. However, the veteran is expected to be back in time for the third Test at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, where Australia will be fighting for pride, after conceding the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy yet again.
The Aussies find themselves trailing the hosts 0-2 after losses in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi. Spin bowling proved to be the undoing of the Aussies in either Test match, despite targeted preparations to combat the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel.
Australian coach Andrew McDonald confirmed that the captain would be actively involved in the planning for the Indore Test even during his absence, and expected the captain to return prior to the game on March 1.
“We’ll be in contact with Patty. We’ve got some decisions to make around squads and injuries. He’ll still be engaged in those conversations whilst dealing with what’s happening back home but we’ve got some strong leaders in the squad who will be able to pick up the slack on the ground.”McDonald said.
Although there is no doubt surrounding Cummins’ involvement in the third Test for the moment, vice-captain Steve Smith is said to be ready to lead the side, as he has done in the past. However, Australia will be more concerned with the fitness of David Warner, who is suspected to have fractured his elbow.
Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the Test series, but Australia have adequate cover in the bowling department, with Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland, and Lance Morris all in the side.
Todd Murphy is also experiencing some soreness, but is expected to be fit for the third Test, after bowling close to seven overs in the fourth innings of the second Test. In any case, Mitchell Swepson is also set to travel back after the birth of his first child.