Wade to stand-in for injured Smith against Kiwis
Melbourne [Australia], Jan.27 (ANI): Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade has been named to lead Australia in the absence of regular captain Steve Smith in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series against New Zealand beginning on January 30 at Eden Park in Auckland.
Earlier today, Smith was ruled out of the ODI series after sustaining what is thought to be a mild "sprain" to the medial ligament in his left ankle.
Reflecting on Wade's inclusion, Cricket Australia's Interim National Selector Trevor Hohns said the former was the "logical option" for the role given his leadership experience.
"We had a few options as captain in the absence of Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner but Matthew Wade was the logical option given his leadership experience with Victoria and the fact he is very much a leader within the group already," cricket.com.au quoted Wade as saying.
Although Hohns admitted Cricket Australia did consider to recall rested opener David Warner for the series, they eventually decided to go ahead with their original plan for the best interest of the team.
"We did discuss the situation with David Warner, but after doing so the NSP 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. 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 that follows," he said.
Wade's elevation to one-day cricket's top job in Australia comes in the same week the 29-year-old revealed that he was keen to leave his post as captain of his Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Victorian Bushrangers and return home to Tasmania because of family reasons.
Smith's injury also saw 21-year-old batsman Sam Heazlett being added to the ODI squad for the upcoming series.
"With Steve not fit to play we have taken the opportunity to introduce another exciting young player to the Australian team environment and international cricket by including Sam Heazlett," Hohns said. (ANI)