Cameron Green ruled out of 3rd Test against South Africa
In a major blow to Team Australia, Cameron Green has been ruled out of the third and final Test versus South Africa. The young all-rounder suffered a fracture in his right index finger in the ongoing Boxing-Day Test. Although he came out to bat in Australia's first innings, the right-arm pacer won't be bowling in the contest. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Green has emerged as a vital cog for Australia's Test team.
- He recorded his maiden five-for in Tests in the ongoing game.
- While batting late on Day 2, the all-rounder was struck on the finger by Anrich Nortje's fiery delivery.
- The same forced him to leave the field as retired hurt.
- Subsequent scans revealed that the 23-year-old has suffered a small fracture.
Green scores gritty fifty despite injury
Despite carrying a fracture, Green arrived to bat on Day 3 and even recorded his sixth Test fifty. The dasher, who returned unbeaten on 51, now owns 806 runs in 18 Tests at 35.04. Green, who recorded figures of 5/27 earlier in the contest, has scalped 23 wickets so far. He is also unlikely to take part in the ongoing Big Bash League 2022-23.
Other injury concerns for Australia
Green's injury is indeed untimely for Australia as left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc also got injured while fielding on Day 1. The speedster injured his left hand's middle finger. He will be able to bowl in SA's second innings but won't be at full capacity. "He'll be limited and his capabilities won't be as [fully fit] as he'd like," Australia coach Andrew McDonald told SEN.
Warner is fully fit
Besides Green, opener David Warner also got retired hurt after smashing a magnificent double-century. The southpaw, who was struggling with cramps and heat exhaustion, regained full fitness and arrived to bat on Day 3. He, however, couldn't add anything to his score of 200.
What are the possible replacements for Green?
Green's ouster might earn Western Australia all-rounder Aaron Hardie a maiden Test cap in the third Test. He has put up some notable performances in the past year. Meanwhile, the selectors and the team management might also consider placing pacer Michael Neser at number seven with Alex Carey moving to the sixth spot. A veteran of two Test matches, Neser owns two First-Class tons.
Who can come in for Starc?
Australia's current squad already has some potent backups for Starc. Josh Hazlewood would walk straightaway into XI if he regains match fitness. Besides him, uncapped pacer Lance Morris is an option. The latter, who is hailed as the fastest bowler in Australia, has risen to prominence. Meanwhile, Mitchell Swepson can be considered if the hosts opt to go with two spinners in Sydney.
How has the Melbourne Test proceeded?
Green took a five-wicket haul as SA got bundled out for 189 while batting first. Australia got off to a stellar start as David Warner smashed 200. Wicketkeeper-batter Carey also brought up his maiden Test ton (111). The hosts, who won the opening Test by six wickets, declared their first innings at 575/8, having earned a 386-run lead.