Australia captain Pat Cummins will miss the third Test in India after returning home to be with his ailing mother in Sydney, Cricket Australia said on Friday.
Steve Smith will lead the side in Indore, where the match begins on Wednesday, in Cummins’ absence.
Cummins returned home after Australia succumbed to their second successive defeat in the four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India will retain having taken a 2-0 lead.
“I have decided against returning to India at this time,” Cummins said in a statement adding his mother was “ill and in palliative care”. “I feel I am best being here with my family. I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received from Cricket Australia and my teammates. Thanks for your understanding.”
While Australia are hoping Cummins will be back for the final Test in Ahmedabad from March 9, Smith could end up leading the side in both matches.
While Australia will also miss David Warner and Josh Hazlewood, both injured and back home, all-rounder Cameron Green has declared himself fit for the Indore Test.
Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc could also return from a finger injury to take up Cummins’ place in the bowling attack.