Australian captain Steve Smith has returned home and expressed his gratitude to India on his social media handles. Smith led Australia in their ODI series against India but was ruled out of the subsequent T20Is due to a shoulder injury. “India it’s been an absolute pleasure,” said Smith in his post, “The One Day tour didn’t go to plan and after injuring my shoulder in the last game I’m unfortunately heading home to give it some rest and rehab. I look forward to watching the boys turn the tides in the next 2 T20s.” Australia are being led by David Warner in his stead.
Smith has had a tough time as Australia captain in India. His side was outclassed in all but one of the five-match ODI series. Although he remains one of Australia’s most consistent performers with the bat, his captaincy has come under a question mark as it has been a tough year for Australia overall. They were defeated 2-1 by India in their four-match Test tour of India earlier in the year. This was followed by them being knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy in the group stage itself despite coming into the tournament as one of the favourites.
After that came the battle between Australian cricketers and Cricket Australia over a new pay structure that the latter was trying to introduce. It had left the Smith and the rest of Australia’s senior cricketers momentarily without a contract. After its resolution, Australia went on a two-Test tour of Bangladesh. They lost the first match in Dhaka, the first time ever that any Australian team has recorded a Test defeat to Bangladesh. They then struggled their way to a win in the second Test in the harsh conditions of Chittagong. Smith has been arguably Australia’s best batsman this year but his position as captain hinges upon how they perform in the upcoming Ashes.