Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will become Australia's 24th one-day international captain after being appointed to replace the injured Steven Smith in next week's Chappell-Hadlee matches in New Zealand. Smith has been ruled out of the series due to an ankle injury he suffered in the fifth ODI against Pakistan, and Queensland batsman Sam Heazlett has taken Smith's place in the squad.
Smith's ankle problem forced a hurried discussion for the national selectors and Cricket Australia board directors over the team's leadership, because the vice captain David Warner was already being rested from the tour to prepare more fully for the looming Test series in India. Wade, who is in his fourth summer as captain of Victoria, was confirmed as the stand-in ODI captain on Friday evening.
Heazlett, 21, is one of the young crop of talented batsmen making their way in domestic cricket. Though he missed Queensland's Matador Cup campaign this summer due to a thigh strain, Heazlett had impressed during a winter series for the National Performance Squad, during which he scored his maiden List A century against South Africa A. In that series Heazlett made his List A debut; he is yet to play a one-day match for Queensland.
"It was decided an hour ago that I've been ruled out of the New Zealand series," Smith told reporters in Adelaide earlier 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 painful nature of the injury, Smith was confident he would be fit to depart for Australia's training camp in Dubai ahead of the India tour.
"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."
The first match of the New Zealand ODI series is in Auckland on January 30.
* 08:40 GMT - story updated to reflect the appointment of Wade as stand-in captain and Heazlett's call-up