Domain Test Series v New Zealand
Green shoots down Test hype as allrounder search heats up
Blossoming Western Australian responds to Ricky Ponting's 'left-field' suggestion he should elevated into Australia's Test squad
Martin Smith in Adelaide
3 December 2019, 05:09 PM AEST
Cameron Green is the hottest topic in Australian cricket right now, but the 20-year-old says talk of a Test call-up this summer is “premature” as he eyes a return to the bowling crease at domestic level later this month.
Green’s name is on everyone’s lips this week after former Test skipper Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au the allrounder, who has played just 11 first-class games, should be brought into Australia’s Test squad as a spare specialist batsman for the first Domain Test against New Zealand in Perth.
On Tuesday, head selector Trevor Hohns said he would have no issue picking the youngster for Test cricket despite his inexperience, adding he’s keen to see the right-armer bowling again after playing as a batsman-only for the past month due to a back problem.
Green will have a follow-up MRI scan today that he hopes will give him the all clear to resume bowling in time for the start of the KFC Big Bash in two weeks.
The Western Australian said while Ponting’s comments were flattering, he believes there are other batsmen in domestic cricket who are more deserving of a Test call-up.
“They were incredibly nice words from Ricky, but I still think it’s probably premature, to be honest,” Green said after WA’s last-gasp win over South Australia on Monday.
“I’m pretty happy just playing for WA at the moment. I’ve only just played a couple of games as a batsman myself so I’m not looking that far ahead.
“There’s a few guys, even in the WA squad, who should be playing ahead of me. I think Shaun Marsh has been peeling off runs for fun, so I definitely reckon he deserves it way ahead (of me).
“Obviously (Ponting) has got a pretty massive word in Australian cricket. But at the same time, he said it would be a left-field move and I totally agree with that.”
Australia today opted against naming a reserve batsman in their squad for the New Zealand series, meaning Green will stay with WA for their final Marsh Sheffield Shield game before the BBL, against Victoria in Melbourne.
But Green’s name could well come up again as a Test bolter later this summer if he regains full fitness and conditions for the Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests call for Australia to consider a pace-bowling allrounder.
Hohns revealed today that incumbent allrounder Mitchell Marsh is “pretty doubtful” to be available for those Test due to a broken hand, which brings the focus onto other allrounders like Green and fellow Western Australian, Marcus Stoinis.
Hohns said Green’s name has already been discussed by selectors and he would have no issue throwing a 20-year-old into the international fold.
“I always say if they’re good enough, they’re old enough,” Hohns said.
“I don’t have an issue with his age, it’s more about whether his body can cope and what he can do bowling, particularly in the allrounder category.
“We know he’s a very good bat, he is a fine up-and-coming young player.”
Green has posted scores of 87no, 121no, 6, 0, 126 and 20 in his past three Shield games, the latest of which was WA’s thrilling 36-run win against the Redbacks in Perth.
After his side secured the victory with just seven balls remaining at the WACA Ground, Green said he was keen to keep his focus on domestic cricket for both WA and the Perth Scorchers.
And he said state teammate Stoinis, who is uncapped at Test level but has been part of Australian Test squads before, has been a key sounding board as he’s developed his cricket this summer.
“He’s been unbelievable,” Green said of Stoinis, who is averaging 35.55 with the bat and 27.25 with the ball this Shield season.
“He thinks about the game so much and every single time he gets a wicket, I go up to him and ask if he changed anything to try and take little hints from what he does.”
Domain Test Series v New Zealand
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG (Seven, Fox & Kayo)
Third Test: January 3-7, SCG (Seven, Fox & Kayo)