Steven Smith has been rested for the remainder of the series against Sri Lanka as Australia’s selectors aim to keep the skipper fresh ahead of the five-match ODI series against South Africa and also for a hectic 2016/17 home summer. In Smith’s absence, David Warner will captain Australia for the first time.
In a statement released by Cricket Australia, chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said the plan to rest Smith was discussed before the start of the Sri Lanka series.
“Smith has a large amount of cricket coming up in the next 12 months and we wanted to find a time for him to freshen up and these last five matches provide a good opportunity to do so. Regardless of the results of the first two matches, our plan was always for Steve to take a break and refresh ahead of the ODI Series against South Africa next month,” Marsh said.
Commenting on Warner’s appointment as skipper, Marsh said, “This is a great leadership opportunity for David, he has really embraced his role as vice-captain and we are confident he will do a great job in Steve’s place.”
Smith, who is Australia’s captain across all formats, said, “I hate missing cricket, but in the long run it will do me a world of good. The schedule is very busy. I still want to take on the role in all three formats and do it to the best of my ability.”