Australia leader Pat Cummins will remain in Sydney and miss the third Test against India so he can be with his seriously ill mother. The 29-year-old pacer’s absence is the latest blow to Aussies’ hopes in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. Earlier, pacer Josh Hazlewood and opener David Warner returned home due to injuries. Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc will likely be the replacement of his skipper and will lead the pace attack.

Steven Smith will take over as captain for the third Test. Smith has captained Australia in 36 Tests between 2014 and 2022, including Australia’s most recent Test tour of India in 2017, a controversy-marred campaign in which Smith dominated with the bat, scoring three centuries. In the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series he has scored 71 runs in four innings at an average of 23.66.

Steven Smith’s Comparison Against Others

Left-side: Not as Captain, Right-side: As Captain

As we can see from the above chart, Smith has the highest batting average (67.73) in Test cricket as a captain as well as a player (55.34). As a captain, he played a total of 36 Test matches and scored 3793 runs. Smith is the only player whose batting average is above 50 in both cases. K Williamson has improved a lot in Test cricket, due to which he has an average of almost 50 as a player and 57.43 as a captain for the Kiwis. Root, on the other side, has a higher average (53.96) as a player than as a Test captain (46.45).

When it comes to Test centuries as captain, V Kohli leads the way with 20, followed by Smith (15), Root (14), and Williamson (11). One good thing for Australian fans is that Steve Smith is a more experienced captain than Pat Cummins. He has led Australia in 36 Tests, recording 20 wins, 10 defeats and six draws. Four of those 36 games were against India on Indian soil. Australia won one, lost two and drew one of those four matches.

Australian Captains Test Stats – Current Players

Tim Paine, who captained Australia in retaining the Ashes after winning the fourth Test of the 2019 series, stepped down from captaincy following the infamous “sexting scandal” with a female co-worker at Cricket Tasmania. The news came in as a major shock as Australia is gearing up to host England for the 72nd Ashes series, which gets underway on December 8. With the series starting in just two weeks, the Kangaroos are looking for a new captain to usher in the post-Tim Paine era in Tests.

One name Australia would surely be thinking of is their former captain and the ever-consistent batter, Steve Smith. He has previously led the Australian team in the longest format of the game in 34 Tests, winning 18 of them and losing 10. 8 matches were drawn during his tenure as permanent captain. Considering Steve as a captain won’t be a bad choice for the Australian selectors as Smith has the second-best batting average (67.73) after Don Bradman (101.51) as captain in Tests.


Steven Smith has a remarkable track record when leading the team in Tests at home. Whereas, when leading the team away, he was not able to reach the benchmark. If given the captaincy role, he would like to improve his away record more. Let’s see if this trick works for them, or if the Aussies suffer the same fate as the previous two tests.