It might not have been the talk of the town today as Usman Khawaja again stole the show, but for the second year running Cameron Green assisted an Australia declaration at the SCG with his first major batting contribution of this year’s Ashes.
Twelve months ago he scored his maiden Test fifty against India and in this fixture his hard work was rewarded as he got past a nervy start with 74 off 122 balls in an increasingly free-flowing partnership of 179 with Khawaja which ensured Australia’s bid for a whitewash remained on the cards.
Green has the makings of a generational player for Australia but there will be highs and lows, especially with two parts of his game evolving simultaneously. The bowling has been superb in this series – eight wickets at 12.62 a key part of the five-strong attack – but he was looking uncomfortable at the crease.
Khawaja offered advice when things seemed harder for the youngster – he had arrived with the innings crumbling a touch on 86 for 4 – and a brace of boundaries off James Anderson, a straight drive following by a clumping pull, helped to get him going.
Khawaja showers praise and support on Cameron Green
“Cameron Green is an absolute weapon. He’s a gun batsman,” Khawaja said. “He’s scored so many runs against Queensland. I hate playing against him in Shield cricket. He can do it at Test level, just needs a little time. It’s not easy. It’s tough work.
“I was just talking to him as much as I could, about what we are trying to do out there. He was talking about spin and I was saying what options I thought he could take. Just trying to give him reassurance, especially at the start, you could tell he was a bit nervous at the start. Made sure he kept his intent high, because I know like any other batter he plays better when the intent is there. I was just helping guide him through his innings and once he got to 30 he took it over himself.”
“He’s bowling beautifully and that’s just a bonus. Even he knows it,” Khawaja said. “He loves batting. You don’t get players like Cameron Green very often and I think the selectors see that. Need to give this guy opportunity and time, to go overseas, experience different wickets.”
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