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Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade will lead Australia in their three-match ODI series against New Zealand, which begins on Monday in Auckland, after regular skipper Steve Smith was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Smith sustained the injury in the fifth ODI against Pakistan and as a result, Australia have called up 21-year-old Queensland batsman Sam Heazlett, who has yet to make his international debut.
The national selectors opted to let Smith miss the series in New Zealand due to the fact that Australia will be playing a four-Test series in India next month.
“It was decided an hour ago that I’ve been ruled out of the New Zealand series,” Smith told reporters in Adelaide on Friday. “I’ve got a medial ligament injury to my left ankle, they think it’s a 7-10 day injury and I wouldn’t be fit for the first game, I’d be very unlikely for the second game and a possible for the third game. We’ve got a lot coming up so they think it’s an opportunity to rest it and be right for India.
“It’s a bit of a shock. I just landed really awkwardly on my foot and I felt something straight away. I was a little bit concerned, I’ve never really injured my ankle like that. I was in a bit of pain last night, I injured it and went off and got it strapped and looked at, and was in a reasonable amount of pain in the field.”
Despite the injury, Smith is confident that he will be able to travel to Dubai with the Test team for their training camp ahead of the tour of India.
“I was struggling a bit after the game last night, and it was about seeing how I woke up this morning and I woke up in a reasonable amount of pain again,” he said. “They think it’s just a medial ligament sprain but I’m having an MRI this afternoon to see if there’s any more damage. I’m confident I’ll be fine to train in Dubai after that and for the first Test in India.”