David Warner to captain the Australian team as Steve Smith leaves Sri Lanka series midway

Australia skipper Steven Smith will miss the remainder of the tour of Sri Lanka – three ODIs and two T20I’s – as he returns home to rest ahead of the tour of South Africa.

David Warner will captain the side for rest of the Sri Lanka tour.

“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,” Smith said in a press conference on Wednesday (August 24), after his side’s 82-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series.

Rod Marsh, Cricket Australia’s national selector, stressed on the need to find the period during which their captain of all three formats could be given a much-needed break, and reckoned now was the best time.

“Steven 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.

“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,” he added.

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