Sydney: Legendary wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist feels Australia will play all-rounder Cameron Green as a pure batter at the number six spot in the first Test against India beginning Thursday.
The 23-year-old is recovering from surgery on the index finger of his right hand, which he had broken during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa last December.
Australia coach Andrew McDonald has already confirmed that Green is currently unable to bowl.
“Such is the way of this psyche of the selectors and this team, I think they’ll start with Green at six, assuming he’s fully fit and not hindered by that finger injury at all,” Gilchrist told ‘Sen Radio’.
“I think that’s the nature of this group, they’re pretty trusting of each other and really keen to back each other in every situation.”
Green, who has played 18 Tests, has an average of 35.04 with the bat and impressed in the three innings in Sri Lanka last year. He has also taken 23 wickets with his seam bowling, with 5/27 as his best so far.
“The way he played in Sri Lanka, it almost looks like Green develops before our eyes every time he plays a game of cricket… I reckon the steps forward he took in Sri Lanka, they’ll be hoping he can keep that process going.”
Australia will be without quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood due to injuries in the opening Test, starting in Nagpur Thursday.
With Green unable to bowl, Scott Boland, who boasts of an impressive 12.21 average with the red ball in national colours, is expected to get his first overseas Test.
“If it’s Boland coming in, I think he’s going to be really well suited to the setup there with that nagging line attacking the stumps, he hits pads, he hits stumps with the right field and approach…” Gilchrist said.
Boland will be the second fast bowling option alongside skipper Pat Cummins.
“Between Cummins’ skills, Boland’s skill, Nathan Lyon and I suppose Lance Morris if they think they need another quick or another spin option (I think they will be alright).
While the absence of Starc, who is nursing a finger injury, in the opening Test will be a big loss for Australia, India will also be without the services of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah and dashing wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant.
“(Starc) is a big loss but you look on the other side of the fence, no Rishabh Pant, no Jasprit Bumrah, they’re a couple of key players for India so it probably all balances out a bit.”
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