Pat Cummins has revealed he's fit to play the first ODI against India on Friday and is hoping to take part in all three games of the series. Australia will continue their preparation for next month's World Cup when they take on India in a three-game series, starting in Mohali on Friday.
Cummins, who missed the recent series against South Africa after fracturing his wrist in the fifth Ashes Test, told reporters on Thursday night that he is fully fit and raring to go. "I am feeling pretty good, pretty much 100 percent, and hope to play tomorrow and play all the games," Cummins said.
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Steve Smith will also be back in action after recovering from a wrist issue of his own, declaring he feels “a million bucks” after batting in the nets for nearly two hours. “I faced Patty (Cummins) for a bit, felt good against him, faced quite a bit of spin and lots on the ‘wanger’, so it’s a good start,” Smith said.
The prodigious Aussie batter said he managed to keep his fitness up while his wrist was in a brace over the last few weeks. “I did lots of running, I was still able to do that when I had the brace on,” he told cricket.com.
“I got the brace off, not much changed, had a little injection and feel a million bucks now. A few days after my needle I started to feel good. I was just wary with some catching stuff, landing, the I was taking it easy. But it feels good and I’m ready to go."
While Cummins and Smith return, the Aussies still won't have the services of Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell for the first match against India. Starc is recovering from a groin injury and Maxwell has an ankle issue, but both could still feature later in the series.
Smith will be a key figure at the World Cup, with opener Travis Head to miss the first half of the tournament after breaking his hand. Head was struck on the glove during the fourth match against South Africa, with scans later revealing a fracture.
The Aussies must now decide whether to carry Head in their squad in the hope he can recover for the back half of the tournament, or go with a full-fit replacement. "The time frame is still a little bit loose," Australia coach Andrew McDonald said in regards to Head's injury.
"The good news is he doesn't require surgery, as it stands at the moment. There will be an extended period of time out and we've got to weigh up whether that time falls potentially with an option to carry him through the front half of the World Cup. There's no doubt he won't be available for the front half."
Keepin Starc fit for world cup. Mind games 👀
— Waѕiyullah Budye (@WasiyullahB) September 21, 2023
I hope players from both the countries will not get injured in this series. What is the need for this series before worldcup. 😐
— EngineerG (@Qtiyapaa) September 21, 2023
Good news 🗞️ for Australia… about Smith being fit and ready to go! This sets the stage for a very Interesting match. pic.twitter.com/cIXGShTwgP
— Zaki Akhtar (@zakiakhtar_s) September 21, 2023
It's literally just head for Australia
Cummins is fine
Starc isn't playing the first two ODIs
Green only had a concussion
Maxwell is fine but isn't playing the first 1-2
Smith is completely fine
— Axciem (@Myst_EB) September 21, 2023
India resting big guns for Australia ODI series
Australia will face a weakened Indian side in the majority of the series, with the hosts choosing to rest four key players from the first two matches. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav will all sit out the first two games, with KL Rahul captaining in Rohit's absence.
India have already played six one-dayers this month while winning the Asia Cup. The squad for the third match of the series is the one that will represent India at the World Cup on home soil - featuring Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar.
Ashwin played the last of his 113 one-day internationals in January of 2022 and was left out of the provisional squad announced earlier this month. Axar Patel, who missed the Asia Cup final due to a quadriceps strain, has also been named in the squad for the final ODI, but his participation is subject to fitness.
The World Cup begins on October 5, with Australia playing India three days later in Chennai. The Aussies are aiming to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to South Africa, which saw them lose an ODI series for the first time in history after leading 2-0.
Not even the slightly bit concerned with the Aussies form leading into the world cup. Yeah may have lost the series with some horrible collapses but remember this side has no Smith, Maxwell, Cummins & Starc. 4 of the best players in the world. #SAvAUS
— Redders (@Redders_7) September 17, 2023
can’t even bat out 50 overs embarrassing
— nathan (@screamsgoth) September 17, 2023
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