Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Green's all-round appeal grows with bowling return
Young WA allrounder has already laid down a marker to be included in Australia's Test squad with the bat, and will soon be confident enough in his remodelled action to return to bowling
Andrew Ramsey at Gladys Elphick Park, Adelaide
22 October 2020, 08:09 PM AEST
As if the clamour for gun youngster Cameron Green to earn elevation to Australia's Test squad isn't sufficiently loud, he has confirmed he plans to return to the bowling crease for Western Australia in coming weeks.
Green has been touted as a future Test player almost from the time he claimed a five-wicket bag as a teenager against Tasmania in his Marsh Sheffield Shield debut four seasons ago.
That was before his batting talents fully revealed themselves but, having been prevented from bowling for the past year due to stress fractures in his lower back, he has shown himself to be one of the most exciting runs-scoring talents in Australian cricket.
But in the immediate wake of his career-high 197 scored against a near international-strength New South Wales attack in Adelaide this week, Green revealed he hopes to back and bowling at close to top pace for WA in their next game.
And if he's deemed to be not quite ready to take the ball in that match, scheduled to begin against Tasmania next week, then it will be the following fixture in early November.
"Potentially this (coming) game or the next game, depending on how the next seven days ago," Green said tonight when asked when he was likely to bowl again in match conditions.
"We've got a couple of training sessions, so I'll bowl a couple of times and we'll see how that's progressing.
"There's a lot of things I'm working on – getting my body right, getting a bit of strength and better conditioning in my body.
"I haven't actually bowled too many overs the last few years, so just trying to get my workloads up.
"And definitely there's quite a bit of technical stuff, so hopefully all that will come together over the next few weeks and hopefully I can bowl a few overs during the next couple of games."
Regardless of what the coming week of training produces, Green is adamant he won't be easing back into his craft.
A genuine fast bowler who shared the new ball with Simon Mackin in his second season at Shield level, Green concedes his prolonged absence from the bowling crease will ensure he is used in tightly controlled spells to minimise risk of further injury.
But the 199cm tall right-armer won't hold anything back when given the go ahead to resume, which means the allrounder adds significant depth to WA's already strong seam bowling stocks.
And it only enhances his appeal to national selectors who are expected to name a larger-than-usual squad for the four-match Vodafone Test Series against India due to the travel restrictions and need for on-hand replacement players during the COVID19 pandemic.
"I won't be bowling 40 or 50 overs, it might just be five or 10 here and there to help the captain out if he needs," Green said of his imminent return to bowling.
"But I won't be bowling half-pace.
"If I'm bowling, it will be at full intensity."
As predictable as the hype surrounding the 21-year-old's daunting talent is the age-old query thrown at budding allrounders – does he see himself as a bowler who bats, or a specialist batter happy to contribute a few overs now and then if needed?
As a result of his back injury, Green has been compelled to focus on one skills-set almost to the exclusion of the other.
And he can point to more than 700 Shield runs at an average of 65 since he last bowled in first-class cricket a year ago as evidence he justifies selection as a top-order batter alone.
But he is adamant he wants to remain an allrounder, a decision that won endorsement from NSW skipper Peter Nevill who faced the young quick when Green played his third Shield game in 2017 and watched from behind the stumps as he came within one strike of a double-ton this week.
"I recall facing him a few years ago when he was bowling and thinking what an outstanding bowling talent he was," Nevill said today.
"So to see him do this with the bat as well is an exciting prospect, but you don't want to bump too much on young shoulders and put too much expectation on him.
"But it was as very special innings and I think he'll be a pretty special player."
In much the same way he handled Blues' bowlers Trent Copeland, Sean Abbott, Harry Conway and Nathan Lyon with aplomb during his 438-ball innings at Gladys Elphick Park, Green saw the question about his preferred skills-set early and dispatched it with nonchalance.
"I've never really seen one over the other," he said.
"As a junior, you just want to do everything when you play cricket so when I was coming through I just wanted to bat and bowl and it's probably the same mindset here.
"So if the bowling comes around, I can't wait to do it again."