From Keith Miller, Steve Waugh, and Andrew Symonds to Shane Warne and Shane Watson, Australia have had a blessed and enviable history of producing Test cricketers who contribute with bat and ball. While some have been genuine all-rounders, others have contributed significantly through their secondary skills. Cameron Green is the latest entrant to that list of players. The 23-year-old is still new in international cricket but has shown great promise and signs of becoming that utility player who provides vital balance to the Test side.
Green debuted against India in their 1-2 series loss in 2020-21. He didn’t get off to the desired start but showed why he is rated so highly in Australian Cricket. In the third Test, his first fifty, an innings of 84 runs helped Australia set India a daunting 407-run target.
Green went wicketless in his 44 overs against India, but he kept an end tight with an economy rate of 2.68. However, he showed his true value to the side with his fielding. He was excellent at Gully and took five brilliant catches. The series showed the value of multi-dimensional players, as Green found more than one way to contribute to the team’s success.
Realising the potential
Green’s returns against India might not have put the world to notice but an obvious talent and potential were out there for everyone to see. That potential soon translated into impactful performances when England toured Australia for the Ashes.
The Ashes was a ‘coming of age’ for Green. His batting talent was already visible but against England, he stood up with the ball to be an able support bowler for Australia’s fast bowling trio of Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc. Well, he ended up being more than a support bowler as he bagged 13 wickets at just 15.76 runs apiece – the second-best average after Scott Boland.
Coming of age
Green might be just 13 Tests old, but his performances have made him a mainstay in the Aussie playing XI. That confidence and faith in him were reflected in his performances in some of the most challenging conditions for an Australian cricketer. His knocks against Pakistan and Sri Lanka on their home pitches were excellent for a newcomer.
Green’s height benefits him well. With his long legs, he is able to plant his front foot forward, and his sound batting technique and game awareness allow him to read the length of the ball better. His compact technique helps him score runs on both sides of the wicket.
He has already been awarded his first ‘Player of the Match’ award, that too in alien conditions. With that confidence, his game is only going to improve. He might not have been needed to bowl in Sri Lanka yet, but his quick bowling can be lethal in most conditions. After the retirement of Shane Watson, Australia finally seem to have found an able all-rounder. A promising future awaits Baggy Green’s #459, Cameron Green.