Ryan Harris is the current Australian assistant coach    Getty Images
Ryan Harris is the current Australian assistant coach Getty Images

Australia have appointed wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as captain for the upcoming Chappell-Hadlee Trophy against New Zealand, scheduled to get underway on January 30. Steven Smith was ruled out after an ankle injury earlier on Friday and vice-captain David Warner has been rested ahead of the India tour. With Smith and Warner s absence, there is a perceived notion that Australia are not taking the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy seriously. But Australia assistant coach and former Australian international Ryan Harris insists that Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is still an important tournament. Australia had the option of recalling Warner to the squad, but they stuck to their decision of resting him for this tour. Full Cricket Scorecard: New Zealand vs Australia 1st ODI at Auckland

“We don’t like losing to New Zealand, as they don’t like losing to us. I would dismiss that [Australia do not take the Chappell-Hadlee trophy seriously], it’s just the amount of cricket and the way it is scheduled. It is physically impossible to play every game. With a big India tour coming up, we want our guys to be ready for that. A the same time we’ve still got a very good side here … we’ve got our best bowling attack, we definitely want to win this series,” Harris said ahead of the series opener, according to stuff.co.nz. Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said that Wade was the logical choice as captain given his experience.

“Matthew Wade was the logical option [as captain] given his leadership experience with Victoria and the fact he is very much a leader within the group already,” Hohns said. Smith said while he is disappointed to miss out on the tour, he has to listen to the medical team this time.

“Every series is important and I would have loved to have been in New Zealand, I feel like I’m batting really well and when I’m batting well I want to keep going,” Smith said.”It’s disappointing from that aspect but we’ve got pretty big fish to fry in India shortly, so hopefully the boys will be able to do the job in the Chappell-Hadlee series without me. I’ve got to listen to the medical staff and see where things go from there, but they’re confident that everything will be okay from [a preparation camp in] Dubai and on to India as well.”

Australia s tour of India will begin with the first Test at Pune from February 23.