New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS): Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has admitted that as of now, all-rounder Cameron Green's biggest challenge ahead of the four-match Test series against India, starting from February 9, is to be ready in time for bowling again.
After breaking his finger on the second day of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Green was ruled out of cricketing action after undergoing surgery for the same. He's currently a part of the Australia training camp in Sydney for the last two days and is making steady progress, but he is in a race against time to be fit to bowl in the Nagpur Test.
"Where he's positioned at the moment, his biggest challenge is bowling. There is a lack of loading there, and one of the key reasons around us getting into this camp early is to make sure that we're ready to go for the rigours of what the bowling unit (is) going to encompass."
"Building confidence is the main thing, setting him up to succeed in that first Test match, having enough time, that will be the critical question," McDonald was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo on Sunday.
If Green isn't fit to bowl, then he can be played as a specialist batter, as seen from his fifties against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Lahore and Galle respectively, with the latter fetching Australia a win and giving the all-rounder Player of the Match award.
But if he doesn't make the cut in the playing eleven as a pure batter, Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb come into the frame. "We value his (Green's) batting first and foremost really, he's a batter in our top six and we value that, his bowling is a bonus. A very nice bonus.
"We see him (Handscomb) as an important right-hand option. We've got a lot of left-handers. If there were to be any late changes, or Cameron Green doesn't make that first Test, we feel we have some good options," added McDonald.
The third and fourth Tests of the series played for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be played in Dharamshala (March 1-5) and Ahmedabad (March 9-13). The series against Australia is of extreme importance for India, as a spot in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), to be held in June 2023, is at stake.