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Monday, July 22, 2024  
15 Muharram 1446  

Smith revels in Australia captaincy but says ‘it’s Pat’s team now’

He led visitors to a nine-wicket win in Indore against India
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Steve Smith said his captaincy “time is done” after leading Australia to a famous Test win in India on Friday, with regular skipper Pat Cummins back home with his seriously ill mother.

Australia raced to a nine-wicket win in Indore on a pitch that offered vicious spin and low bounce, with Nathan Lyon wreaking havoc in India’s second innings.

The visitors were well beaten in the first two Tests but despite leading them to victory in Indore, Smith fully expects to hand the reins back to Cummins for the final match.

“My time is done. It’s Pat’s team now,” said the 33-year-old.

Smith, who was stripped of the captaincy and handed a year-long ban over a 2018 ball-tampering incident, said he still relishes making the big calls.

“Look, India is a part of the world I love captaining,” Smith said.

“It’s a game of chess, every ball means something. It’s good to just move people and trying to make the batter do something different and just play games with them.

“It’s probably my favourite place in the world to captain.”

The visitors squandered a strong position in the second Test in Delhi, losing eight wickets for 28 runs in a shambolic second-innings collapse.

“We screwed up I suppose in Delhi is one way to put it,” said Smith.

“We had an opportunity there and let that slip, but we had a good break and a good preparation coming here and it was just about getting our mental states right.”

Friday’s victory was only Australia’s second Test win in India since 2004 and means they will play in the ICC World Test Championship final in June at The Oval.

“It is very satisfying, I thought it was a great team performance all the way from day one,” said Smith.

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Pat Cummins

Steve Smith