At lunch on Day 2, the visitors’ scorecard reads: 347/4 with opener Usman Khawaja at 150*(354) and Cameron Green at 90*(135) and they are heading toward a big first innings total on what has been a slow, low, and placid surface to bat on with little help for the bowlers.
A curious thing was noticed by the fans when Khawaja and Green came out to bat on the morning of Day 2 in Ahmedabad: all the Australian players and support staff were seen wearing black armbands.
Why are Australian players wearing black armbands?
The Australian players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for the mother of their Test captain Pat Cummins, Maria Cummins, who passed away overnight in Sydney.
Maria had been struggling with a prolonged illness; Pat Cummins had flew back home after the second Test to be with her in her last moments.
Cricket Australia took to Twitter to offer its condolences for Cummins’ mother in a statement, and confirmed that the players will be wearing black armbands on Day 2 of the Test match, Friday, as a mark of respect to Maria.
“We are deeply saddened at the passing of Maria Cummins overnight. On behalf of Australian Cricket, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Pat, the Cummins family and their friends. The Australian Men’s team will today wear black armbands as a mark of respect,” Cricket Australia wrote in a statement.
We are deeply saddened at the passing of Maria Cummins overnight. On behalf of Australian Cricket, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Pat, the Cummins family and their friends. The Australian Men's team will today wear black armbands as a mark of respect.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) March 10, 2023
Cummins had returned home to be with his ailing mother, who had been placed into palliative care, following the end of the second Test in Delhi last month.
“I feel I am best being here with my family. I appreciate the overwhelming support I have received from Cricket Australia and my teammates. Thanks for your understanding,” Cummins said, while explaining his decision to leave India.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith took over the captaincy duties and hasn’t put a foot wrong as Australia won by 9 wickets in Indore and now have a strong upper hand in Ahmedabad. Though Smith would like to score a big knock in the second innings – if Australia bat in the second innings – after he got out for 38 in the first innings.