Hyderabad, Sep 26 (IANS): Having played only one T20I before the three-match series against India and not opening the innings before in any T20 cricket, Cameron Green turned out to be the surprise package for Australia. In the absence of David Warner, Green smoothly delivered in his new role as an opener in T20Is by smashing two stunning half-centuries at a whopping strike-rate of 214.54.
After his exploits on Sunday in the third T20I at Hyderabad, where he smashed a sensational 52 off 21 balls, including reaching his fifty in just 19 balls, Green, 23, earned rich praise from head coach Andrew McDonald on performing exceedingly well throughout the series.
"He's certainly embracing the challenge of opening. We've asked him to show great intent at the top of the order and I think everything we've seen so far shows that he's doing that. It's probably opportunistic the way that he's come into the opening position with obviously David Warner not being here and a couple of other players from our (T20) World Cup 15. Fortuitous, but he's taken that opportunity and what he can do go out there if given an opportunity," said McDonald in the post-match press conference after Australia lost the series 2-1.
Though Green is not a part of Australia's 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup starting next month, his performance against India shows that he can succeed in the shortest format of the game and can hit the ground running from the word go in case of an injury to any member in the main squad for the showpiece event.
"We thought he had the skill when we did our strategy before we come over here and had the skillsets to succeed. And he's taken on some of the best bowlers in world cricket. You could argue Jasprit (Bumrah) is one of the best T20 bowlers ever. So to be able to do that, work your way through that situation again tonight (during the match on Sunday), and do it two out of three times is very impressive and bodes well," added McDonald.
With Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis forced to miss the tour of India due to injuries and Green as well as Tim David being the standout performers in the three-match series, McDonald stated he and the Australian side have good quality at their disposal to deal with any injury scare.
"Anytime you build depth and we have seen India do that, with some of their white-ball teams when they were in a Test series. It's fortuitous that some of the guys got the opportunity here. We've got a couple of injuries, which are concerning leading into a World Cup. You don't like to see some of your mainstay players out of the team leading in, but we feel as though we've got some good options in depth. If anything were to happen with someone in the 15 I think it's obvious that we've got some good depth there."
McDonald signed off by saying Australia could have batted better in the middle overs as fifties from Green and Tim David went in vain at Hyderabad.
"After about 14 overs, we felt that would be a little bit short. We had great confidence in our abilities at the death despite it not being Matthew Wade's night. But it was of Tim David's and Daniel Sams chipped in as well. We got a structure of seven batters and Sams as an eight batter. We got the total we thought was right and how we got there, could have potentially clean up some things from the middle."