Matthew Wade appointed Australia skipper for New Zealand ODIs
Matthew Wade will lead the Australian side in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand after Steven Smith suffered an injured ankle.cricket Updated: Jan 27, 2017 15:39 IST
Australia captain Steve Smith has been ruled out of the upcoming one-day international series in New Zealand after he sustained a minor ankle injury in the ODI victory over Pakistan in Adelaide on Thursday.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade will lead the side in Smith’s absence while 21 year-old uncapped batsman Sam Heazlett was named as replacement in the squad, Cricket Australia said.
Smith said he would not join the squad heading to New Zealand for the three-match series starting on Jan. 30 having suffered strained medial ligaments in his left ankle.
“It’s a bit of a shock,” Smith told reporters in Adelaide. “I just landed really awkwardly on my foot and I felt something straight away. I was a little bit concerned, I’ve never really injured my ankle like that.”
The 27-year-old added that team medical staff informed him he could resume training in seven to 10 days but the injury was not serious enough to rule him out of the four-match test series in India starting in Pune on Feb. 23.
- Matthew Wade is the 24th ODI captain for Australia
- Australia have won 15 and lost 12 ODIs against New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee series
- Australia won the previous encounter 3-0
Smith will undergo a scan on the injury but expects to attend a training camp in Dubai ahead of the tour of India.
“They think it’s just a medial ligament sprain but I’m having an MRI ... to see if there’s any more damage,” he said. “I’m confident I’ll be fine to train in Dubai after that and for the first test in India.”
Vice-captain David Warner is being rested for the New Zealand tour and selectors had discussed reinstating the left-handed opener with Smith being ruled out.
“We made the decision that it was in his best interests and in the best interests of the team that we continued with our original plan to give him a break for this series,” interim chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.
“That was our call and, that way, we will ensure David is fresh and ready to go in the build-up to the test series in India.”
Wade said he was excited by the opportunity.
“Being asked to captain Australia is obviously not something I was expecting and it is still sinking in, but I am hugely honoured by the decision ...and very excited about it,” said the 29-year-old.
Following the series-opener in Auckland, the teams play further matches in Napier on Feb. 2 and Hamilton on Feb. 5.