The message from Cameron Green to national selectors was loud and clear on Monday: Snub me at your own peril.
Batting at No.5 for Australia A in a tour match against India A, the 21-year-old was a clear cut above the rest as he reached triple figures at Drummoyne Oval.
The headline act of the day was a bat-off between Test hopefuls Joe Burns and Will Pucovski — but that swiftly passed with little fanfare before Green stole the show.
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The Western Australia all-rounder still rode his luck on occasion, but found a way to bring up his ton on a day many others failed.
Pucovski made just one run in a tortured 23-ball stay, while Burns scored four from 13 balls and Travis Head 18 from 35.
Meanwhile, Green was the only Australian batsman at the time of writing to pass 50 before he went on with the job to score his ton off 145 balls and finish the day unbeaten on 114.
Cameron Green has to be a certainty to play the first test now. Pick of the batsmen in the 1st innings #AUSAvIND and bowled some tidy overs. Can’t have him as a Bench Warmer. #cricket
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) December 7, 2020
“Cameron Green has to be a certainty to play the first Test now,” Brad Hogg tweeted during his innings. “Pick of the batsmen in the first innings and bowled some tidy overs. Can’t have him as a benchwarmer.”
Green’s teammate James Pattinson was also in awe, telling Fox Cricket: “He’s pretty impressive, isn’t he?
Cameron Green of Australia A celebrates and acknowledges teammates after hitting a century. Picture: Mark MetcalfeSource: Getty Images
“Even his bowling (on Sunday), he got the ball through really well, does it pretty easy.
“And with the batting there – it’s pretty special.
“I think we’ve got a really good talent there and he’s a fantastic guy as well. It’s exciting for cricket.”
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50 for Green against India A!
Kerry O’Keeffe praised the way Green played spin, saying it has “flown under the radar” how quick the two-metre young gun is on his feet.
“I watched him against Nathan Lyon in a state game in Adelaide and he was so quick and pronounced when he was going forward to Lyon,” O’Keeffe said. “Here against Ravi Ashwin, he’s either well back or running down the pitch to meet him on the half-volley.
“Often the big tall timber can get a little bit wrong with their foot movement – not Cameron Green.”
Brendon Julian pointed out another positive feature of Green’s batting, saying his soft hands when playing outside off stump showed some current Test players how it’s done.
“He hasn’t pushed hard at the ball when the bowling’s been really good, he’s been quite patient,” Julian said. “Yes he’s had good shot selection, but he’s been really patient and played the ball late with soft hands. That says to me he sums up the conditions quite well.
Pucovski fails against India
“We’ve seen Travis Head, Marcus Harris, Joe Burns pushing hard at the ball – and those are the guys that have played Test cricket – and then you’ve got a guy who hasn’t played Test cricket that seems to have summed up the situation better.”
Unlike Burns and Pucovski, Green isn’t expected to be picked for the first Test in Adelaide with coach Justin Langer suggesting Matthew Wade and Head will keep spots at No.6 and No.5 respectively.
It remains to be seen, however, if a century against an attack featuring Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin could change selectors’ minds.
Burns’ rotten run continues
Julian said Green could be a suitable option for Australia in Melbourne where the wicket is typically flat and a fifth bowling option is essential.
“If you go to Melbourne, it’s flat and you’ve got three quicks and you’ve got Nathan Lyon and you’ve got no one else that can bowl in the top six – it’s a heavy workload if it’s a flat pitch,” Julian said. “It means Lyon’s got to bowl a lot, but your quicks also.
“You just need someone that can bowl between 10 and 15 overs. That’s where you could go: ‘You know what? We might go for the all-rounder at No. 6.
“I think he can bat at No. 6, there’s no doubt about that.”