Cameron Green ‘100% ready to go’ for the Indore Test

Cameron Green has declared himself 100% fit for the third Test against India in Indore as Australia desperately search for a winning combination in the midst of a raft of absences.

Australia trained at the Kotla in Delhi on Friday morning having enjoyed a few days off to freshen up since the dramatic collapse that ended the second Test for them last Sunday. But they trained without captain Pat Cummins, who will miss the third Test after deciding to remain home in Sydney to be with his sick mother.

While some of Green’s team-mates enjoyed a few rounds of golf earlier in the week and others made a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, he did a solo training session on Tuesday at Arun Jaitley Stadium to keep his bowling loads up having missed the first two Tests because of the broken finger he suffered on December 27.

He revealed he was very close to playing in the Delhi Test but it was his batting that was causing the most issues. But he was raring to go after giving his troubled right index finger an extra week to heal.

“It’s going really well,” Green said. “I was so, so close last game, but I think probably having an extra week has helped a lot. [I’m] 100% ready to go.”

Green’s broken finger has caused major headaches for Australia’s selectors. They were desperate for Green to play in Delhi given how important he is to balance the side with both bat and ball. He trained well two days out from the game but there were clear signs he wasn’t quite right. He only caught hard balls while fielding for the first time during that session. He batted for over an hour and looked good but still had not faced a fast bowler in the nets since batting with the broken finger during the Boxing Day Test, and there were instances where he was in obvious pain while batting.

It was enough for Green and the selectors to decide he was not ready to go.

“We were all on the same page, I reckon,” Green said. “It was just a few instances in the nets where I’d go for a sweep and it just jarred the end of my bat. We probably just thought that we’d sacrifice a game and with obviously the year ahead that we’ve got, it’s probably the right call.”

Coach Andrew McDonald revealed on Monday that Australia had even considered Green as the concussion substitute for David Warner during the Delhi Test, although he would not have been able to bowl. Green was able to face Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland in the nets during the Delhi Test and got through that without any drama.

“I think we’ve all kind of like accepted what’s going to happen”

Cameron Green on the prospect of being on the road for the next few months

The challenge for Green now is getting up to speed halfway through the series with Australia’s batting in a state of panic following two alarming collapses in the second innings of each of the first two Tests.

Green has been a notoriously slow starter with the bat coming into Test series after long layoffs and has consistently got better the longer series have gone. Last summer was a prime example where he barely batted between October and December having carried the drinks through the T20 World Cup. He struggled for rhythm in his first two Test innings of the summer before making an unbeaten half-century with the broken finger in Melbourne.

But he did play his best Test innings first up off a break in Galle last year on a rank turner to help Australia beat Sri Lanka by an innings. He was named Player of the Match for his 77 where he both used his feet and swept the spinners to score fluently on a surface where only three batters passed 50 in the match.

Green felt that watching the first two Tests in India from the sidelines had given him some good insight to be able to hit the ground running in Indore.

“You get a pretty good look at it from the sideline without having too many emotions of being in the game,” Green said. “You get a pretty good outlook on it. I think maybe in Galle it was a really bouncy wicket. Maybe here, it’s not bouncing as much. So that’s probably just another bit that I’m trying to learn about my game about trying to read the conditions and what to do in different conditions. That’s what’s been nice about watching the first two games. You can work out what’s probably the best approach.”

Both Green and the selectors are extremely wary of his staggering workload coming up this year. Green is not due to return home to Australia until August. Following the Test series, he will remain in India for the three-match ODI series. He will then go straight into the IPL with Mumbai Indians after being the second-highest purchase in last year’s auction for a staggering price given his limited T20 experience.

Following the IPL, he is due to travel straight to England where Australia will play six Tests in two months should they qualify for the World Test Championship final ahead of the Ashes. He is then likely to get a short break at home in August before Australia head to South Africa for three ODIs and three T20Is ahead of the ODI World Cup in India in September and October.

Green remained very positive about the time away from his partner and his family and was conscious of maintaining his mental outlook over a long period.

“I think we’ve all kind of like accepted what’s going to happen,” Green said. “[I’ve tried to] bring a lot of energy to start the trip. That’s been really good. All the guys have been awesome to be around. It’s been a really good start to the trip.”

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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