Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Green picked as a batter only, Marsh's fate unclear
Young allrounder won't bowl in the early rounds of the Sheffield Shield season while Mitchell Marsh may require surgery on his ankle injury
2 October 2020, 12:01 PM AEST
Rising star Cameron Green will begin the Marsh Sheffield Shield season as a batter only as he continues to nail down some long-term technical changes to his bowling action.
Green, who was today included in Western Australia's 17-man squad for the opening rounds of the Shield competition, to be played in Adelaide, has suffered back stress fractures in each of the past two summers and WA are desperate to avoid a third for a player who only turned 21 in June.
Having delayed the start of his off-season to begin work on tweaking his action with WA bowling coach Matt Mason last March, a minor side strain in recent weeks has delayed his progress with the ball and Green will be held back from bowling in the early stages of the Shield.
Injured allrounder Mitchell Marsh hasn't been named in the WA squad and may need surgery after scans revealed he suffered a moderate to high grade syndesmosis injury to his right ankle during the Indian Premier League.
The WA skipper is unable to meet with a specialist until after his hotel quarantine period ends on October 10, with experts to determine whether or not he will need to go under the knife and when he can return to play.
WA are also missing Marcus Stoinis and Josh Philippe on IPL duty, but coach Adam Voges said the state will take a conservative approach with Green's bowling given his recent injury history.
"He's worked hard on some technical changes to get him into a safer position and he's working well at that, but we want to make sure he's holding that really nicely before we expose him into games," Western Australia coach Voges told cricket.com.au.
"He'll hold his own as a bat. Hopefully we see him as an allrounder throughout the hub at some point but he's just had a couple of minor set-backs so he might not be bowling first up.”
Regarded as one of the brightest young talents in Australian cricket, Voges says Green's form with the bat in WA's pre-season trials has carried on from his outstanding last summer.
"He's played beautifully in the centre-wickets we've had," said Voges, adding WA have been utilising the centre square at the WACA Ground for the past five weeks in preparation for the Shield season.
"We're confident he's going to play well. We certainly understand opposition teams are going to put a lot more time into him and target him after a breakout year.
"But he's ready for that challenge, he's done some really good work and should be confident going to Adelaide.
"He had a terrific year last year. I don't think the pressure or expectation of backing that up worries him too much.
"He hits thousands and thousands of balls, he loves batting. We've seen some good strides with Greenie, his cricket has always been excellent, and his life skills are improving all the time which is great.
"He's becoming more and more professional with everything he does.”
Western Australia's 17-man squad does not include fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, who both remain on track for the KFC BBL as they continue to build up their loads following shoulder and back surgeries, respectively.
The 22-year-old uncapped pace bowler Lance Morris has been included, as has WA's rookie listed off-spinner Corey Rocchiccioli.
High profile off-season recruit Cameron Gannon will slot into the bowling attack alongside Joel Paris and Matthew Kelly, with a fourth quick or second spinner to make up the attack, depending on conditions.
There was no room for opening bat Jake Carder, who played the last three of WA's Shield matches last summer, with Voges set to go with Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman at the top of the order.
Competition for middle order spots is expected to be fierce, with Ashton Turner, who is back bowling following recovery from long-term shoulder issues, Hilton Cartwright and D'Arcy Short vying for effectively two spots with Green and Ashton Agar certainties to start.
Voges said WA would look to manage Agar's time in the hub after the spin-bowling allrounder travelled to the UK with Australia's limited overs squad in September, and faces more time in an international bubble with white-ball fixtures against India set to open the Australian international summer.
After enjoying a largely uninterrupted pre-season free from COVID-19 restrictions, Voges warned the WA players "might be in for a bit of a shock" as they enter home quarantine restrictions from Monday ahead of their trip to Adelaide.
"We've been really lucky, the pandemic has not had a huge impact on us at all," Voges said. "This home quarantine the boys do prior to flying might be a bit of a shock, because we haven't been restricted in any way for a while now."
Western Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Gannon, Cameron Green, Liam Guthrie, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Corey Rocchiccioli, D'Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman