With Smith taking charge of the side it means Australia will have had four captains in their last five ODIs. Aaron Finch retired after the series against New Zealand in September with Cummins named as his successor. However, when he was rested for the second match of the series against England in November, Josh Hazlewood took the role.
Aside from the absent quick bowlers, Australia have selected their full-strength ODI squad for this series with an eye on firming up plans for the World Cup in India during October and November. They have more ODIs against South Africa in August before needing to select their World Cup squad.
This is an allrounder-heavy squad, even more so now with them not replacing Cummins, and Australia will continue to explore how they can balance the side with them. On a number of occasions last year they fielded very deep batting orders with either Cameron Green or Glenn Maxwell at No. 8.
“We’ve got a couple conversations around the balance of the team we want to play,” McDonald said “We’ve gone in with a structure with eight batters to bat a little bit deeper, we’ve tried that. So there’ll be a mix of combinations as we lead into the World Cup. A lot of allrounders [have been] picked in the squad and they can all play in the one team. So we’ve got to answer a few of those questions.”
Australia ODI squad vs India David Warner, Travis Head, Steven Smith (capt), Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa