Cameron Green becomes headache for Australia selectors ahead of T20 World Cup – Firstcricket News, Firstpost
Australia might have lost the T20I series against India but their all-rounder Cameron Green turned out to be the surprise package for his team. Having played only one T20I before the three-match series against the Men in Blue and not opening the innings before in any T20 cricket, Green caught everyone’s attention as in the absence of David Warner, the 23-year-old smoothly delivered in his new role as an opener in T20Is by smashing two stunning half-centuries at a whopping strike-rate of 214.54.
Even in the series-decider on Sunday, Green completed his fifty in just 19 balls to join David Warner and Glenn Maxwell as the only Australians to reach a half-century in under 20 deliveries.
However, Green’s brilliant show has not only impressed Australia’s management but also left them with a selection conundrum as with Warner returning and captain Aaron Finch’s place secure, the question which is perturbing the most is – where will Cameron Green fit in the team?
Will Australia miss Cameron Green in the upcoming T20 World Cup?
Though Green is not a part of Australia’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup starting next month, his performance against India shows that he can succeed in the shortest format of the game and can hit the ground running from the word go in case of an injury to any member in the main squad for the showpiece event, which is scheduled to take place down under.
Australia will certainly miss someone like Green, who can hit the ball from the word go. Moreover, he is a three-dimensional player as other than hitting the ball out of the park, Green bowls, and is an exceptional fielder.
Can Cameron Green still be added to Australia’s T20 World Cup squad?
Yes, Green can still make it to the World Cup squad.
As per the ICC rule, all teams have until October 9 to make changes to their squads without the approval of the event’s Technical Committee, while Super 12 teams — of which Australia is one — have until October 15.
Even after the aforementioned deadline, Green could be added to the squad as a late injury replacement.
Steve Smith/Mitchell Marsh to make way for Cameron Green?
If selectors decide to add Green into Australia’s T20 World Cup squad and play him at the top of the batting order then they might have to push Smith down the order as his run rate during the recently concluded T20I series against India was questionable.
During the series, Smith was given the chance to bat at No. 3 in Marsh’s absence. The former Australia skipper played well in Mohali to make 35 off 24 but his strike-rate of 145.83 in that innings was short of the 177.54 that was produced collectively by both teams in a high-scoring run feast.
Moreover, in a rain-curtailed match in Nagpur, which was reduced to eight-over a side, Australia management decided to send Smith to bat at number 6 thus making it evident that they don’t consider him as a power-hitter.
Even in the series-decider, Smith scored at less than a run a ball in Hyderabad despite facing 10 balls in an innings where he was also dropped at a backward point.
It is worth noting that Smith’s value as a T20 player has been debated in recent times with some of the world’s most dangerous sides snubbing the ‘anchor’ role. Hence, Green could be preferred over him or at his batting position.
Another situation where Green can make it to the World Cup squad is by replacing Mitchell Marsh, who is recovering from an ankle injury courtesy of which he missed the series against India.
Notably, Marsh is likely to return to the team to play two series against the West Indies and England at home before the World Cup starts. If Marsh fails to make a mark in the mentioned series then selectors might ponder over his place in the World Cup squad.
However, replacing Marsh with Green will be a very big and hard call for the Australia management as they will be bringing in a neophyte in place of an experienced campaigner.
Former Australia cricketers already backing Cameron Green
“It’s a proper conundrum,” former Australian star Brad Hodge told ESPN cricinfo of Green’s World Cup snub.
“This is an exciting talent, no doubt about it. He will probably go on to be one of the best players Australia has ever produced. He’s shown what he’s got in his kit bag, not only in Test cricket, but in T20 cricket as well.
“There will be a few IPL teams that have seen something they might like in the future as well.
“Having not been selected in the initial squad with how he’s playing, it’s a challenge for Australia.
“His aggression at the top was impressive and his bowling and fielding was also impressive.
“If it’s possible, I’m sure the Australian unit will have to look at Cameron Green (for the World Cup). He’s in form, he’s hitting the ball well, and there’s not too many players in the world at the moment that can take down the likes of (Jasprit) Bumrah, Axar Patel, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.”
Cameron Green’s performance as an opener very impressive, bodes well: Andrew McDonald
“He’s certainly embracing the challenge of opening. We’ve asked him to show great intent at the top of the order and I think everything we’ve seen so far shows that he’s doing that. It’s probably opportunistic the way that he’s come into the opening position with obviously David Warner not being here and a couple of other players from our (T20) World Cup 15. Fortuitous, but he’s taken that opportunity and what he can do go out there if given an opportunity,” said McDonald in the post-match press conference after Australia lost the series 2-1.
“We thought he had the skill when we did our strategy before we come over here and had the skillsets to succeed. And he’s taken on some of the best bowlers in world cricket. You could argue Jasprit (Bumrah) is one of the best T20 bowlers ever. So to be able to do that, work your way through that situation again tonight (during the match on Sunday), and do it two out of three times is very impressive and bodes well,” added McDonald.
Green’s future is bright but uncertain at present
Given the current scenario and conundrum, time will tell if selectors are willing to shake up their plans to give Green a chance to play in the T20 World Cup. But for now, one thing is sure – Green is the next big thing in the world of cricket.
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