In what could be a major blow to the visiting Australian team, all-rounder Cameron Green is unlikely to roll over his arm in the series-opening Nagpur Test for the upcoming Border Gavaskar Trophy. The 23-year-old had hurt his finger during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG where he picked up a fifer and accounted for a valuable 51.
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Green is hoping to get official confirmation as far as his finger injury is concerned, but the right-armer has not bowled at full fitness since Boxing Day, and with the Nagpur Test set to get underway in just 10 days, it’s unlikely he will be available to roll the arm over in the series opener.
“Where he’s positioned at the moment, his biggest challenge is bowling,” Australian coach Andrew McDonald told reporters on Sunday afternoon.
“There is a lack of loading there, and it’s one of the key reasons around us getting into this camp … to make sure that we’re ready to go for the rigours of what the bowling unit are going to encompass.
“His bowling will be his greatest challenge. He’s got to consult with the surgeon again tomorrow … where he should be given a tick of approval that that bone has healed.
“After that, it should be just building him up and we’ll see how he goes each session. Building confidence is the main thing, setting him up to succeed if he was to play in that first Test match.”
Australia is likely to play Green as a specialist batter at Nagpur, a pitch which is expected to be a rank turner.
The tall right-hander was named Player of the Match during one of Australia’s most recent Test in the sub-continent, scoring a classy 77 against Sri Lanka on a turning pitch in Galle.
“We value his batting first and foremost really,” McDonald said.
“He’s a batter in our top six and we value that. His bowling is a bonus, a very nice bonus.”
Specialist batters Peter Handscomb and Matthew Renshaw, both coming off strong form at domestic level, are also on standby if required.
Both Handscomb and Green are undergoing batting practices on tailor-made “scarified" pitches in the sultry conditions of Bon Andrews Oval in North Sydney for them to experience match simulation ahead of the four-Test series that will determine their World Test Championship Final qualification.
Handscomb was also a member of their last tour to India in 2017. He also provides the utility value by doubling up as a wicketkeeper.