Smith rested, Warner to lead Oz in SL

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.”

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