Aussies lost 526 wickets in experience, can they afford to carry Green if he can’t play?
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Australian all-rounder Cameron Green is making surprising progress in his recovery from a finger injury as he pushes to play in India’s first Test.
Green certainly won’t be ready to play in the Border-Gavaskar series opener from Thursday, but Australia are considering picking the 23-year-old as a hitter-only.
Australian pace stocks have already been hit hard, with Mitchell Starc (broken finger) and Josh Hazlewood (achilles) – who took 526 Test wickets between them – ruled out of the game in Nagpur.
Scott Boland will almost certainly feature in his first Test outside Australia, while speedster Lance Morris could make a dream debut as the only other speedster in the 18-man squad.
If Green is ruled out, Matt Renshaw will likely retain his spot at No.6 after playing his first Test in over four years in the New Year’s game at SCG.
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“We haven’t put a clear line on him (Green) or on the team sheet yet,” Australian coach Andrew McDonald told reporters in Bangalore.
“He has taken significant steps forward in recent days, probably to my surprise.
“There is still an outside chance that, everything will go well, that he will be on the team sheet.”
Australia opted for a training camp in Bangalore rather than playing a practice match leading up to the highly anticipated series.
Cummins’ side flew to Nagpur on Monday, with two days of training ahead of the test at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
Nathan Lyon is the only bowler besides Cummins certain to be in the XI. Australia could still choose one of their replacements – Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson or the uncapped Todd Murphy – to partner Lyon.
Asked about the choice of two spinners, Cummins said, “I wouldn’t say that’s a given.
“I think sometimes when you talk about a few spinners you forget how good a lot of our fast bowlers have been in all conditions.
“We have a lot of bowling options here – finger spin, wrist spin, left arm (pace) when Starcy comes back in line.
“We will obviously choose bowlers who we believe can take 20 wickets. How are we going to split this, I’m not 100% sure yet.”