David Warner might handle the captaincy duties during the series against India
David Warner may find himself leading Australia in the limited-overs series against India, which starts on January 12, if Steven Smith fails to recover from his injury.
Smith has been carrying niggles since the later part of the Ashes this year and it aggravated during his team’s crushing innings win over West Indies in Hobart. As a result of that he will sit out the opening two Big Bash League Twenty20 2015-16 games for the Sydney Sixers next week as a precaution. Australia have almost a fortnight’s break before the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
According to an ESPNCricinfo report, the Australian think-tank may rest him for the One Day Internationals (ODIs) against India keeping the busy schedule ahead in mind.
“He keeps telling me he is 26 but [in Hobart] he was running as though he is 36,” said Darren Lehmann, the Australian coach, on Sunday (December 13). “The pressure of captaincy is quite large. We have to look at that but we get a decent break now with two weeks off. He is not playing BBL so he gets a good break.
“The ODIs (against India) are important to us and then the T20 World Cup, so I can’t see him getting a break until the end of the summer, unless we play really well or the niggles get worse. I’m no medical expert but [rest] is what they are saying. They will say what he can or can’t do and if I disagree with it he plays and if I don’t he might not play.”
Lehmann also praised Smith for the way he has led the team. “Doing it easy – much easier when you win,” said Lehmann. “It was a tough series against New Zealand while this was a less stressful Test match, [but] he has been flying with the extra demands.
“He has good mentors and good advice from former captains who are helping with how to handle his time and the demands which are so much greater than just a player. Players love what he brings to the table.”
If Smith fails to recover in time, Warner is likely to lead Australia in five ODIs and three T20 Internationals against India in January 2016.