Allrounder given GREEN light to return to depleted Australia in much-needed boost for crucial third Test against India
Cameron Green has recovered from a frustrating fracture to his finger and is poised to play a major part in Australia’s bid to turn around their troubled Test cricket tour of India.
The 23-year-old will make his first appearance since sustaining the injury while batting during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG.
Green sorely missed hitting at No. 6, bowling valuable excesses of pace and for his deadly ravine fielding during the first two Tests in India.
Green has returned to bowling after suffering a broken finger and is set to return to Australia
It was the hitting that delayed Green’s comeback, with the all-rounder saying a few strikes to the hand had slowed him down.
The all-rounder revealed he was ready to return for the infamous second Test in Delhi but a training accident in the nets delayed his comeback by a week.
“I was so, so close in the last game but I think probably having an extra week helped a lot so I’m 100% ready to play,” he said.
‘I think it’s just a few cases at nets where maybe I would go for a sweep and just hit (the injured finger) on my stick.
‘I went to scrape a pretty new ball, got it right at the end of it and felt a little sore on the back of my finger, but other than that it’s been really good the last two weeks. I have a lot of confidence in that.
“We only thought about sacrificing one game and, with the year ahead, it was probably the right choice.
Cummins has returned to Australia to be with his sick mother in Sydney and will miss the third Test against India
Green’s return could not have come at a better time for the Australians, with captain Pat Cummins remaining at home in Sydney to care for his sick mother, while striker Mitchell Starc is still awaiting clearance to return from injury.
Green’s return will give Australia the luxury of playing only a dedicated pace bowler again with the all-rounder backing.
Pace bowler Mitchell Starc is also hoping to return from injury for the third Test with Josh Hazlewood and Cummins ruled out
Starc is favored to take up that mantle if fit, although Scott Boland and rookie Lance Morris are both in India and ready to go.
Australia are trailing 0–2 going into the third Test in Indore, starting on Wednesday, with any hope of regaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy already lost after two calamitous batting meltdowns in Delhi and Nagpur.
But the tourists can still secure their place in the World Test Championship final, almost certainly against India at Lord’s, if they manage to avoid a 4-0 whitewash.
Initially, it was feared that Green’s bowling would take longer to come back after suffering the injury, but it is only now that he is comfortable batting against all types of bowlers.
If Starc fails to pass a fitness test, it could open the door for young Lance Morris to debut.
Scott Boland has been highly reliable in his short Test career and will likely be recalled if Starc is unfit.
Green fought for over an hour in training on Friday, declaring himself ‘ready’ for his first test on Indian soil.
“My bowling is actually going really well,” said Green.
‘We probably thought that maybe the ball on the back of the finger, sort of rolling around, could be painful, but that’s OK.
‘I had my first hit probably four or five days before against pace players and it felt completely fine, so luckily it’s not really bouncy like in Australia where here you can pass the ball quite easily.’
Green will likely come on for Matt Renshaw and bat at No. 6, with Travis Head remaining as opener in place of David Warner after a cameo during the second round in Delhi.