With India hosting Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Australia vice-captain Steve Smith believed all-rounder Cameron Green would be unlikely to play in the first Test because he had not faced fast bowlers in the net, The first Test along with the India and Australia will take off on Thursday at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
Green was hurt after being hit by South African sprinter Anrich Nortje during the second Test in Melbourne in December. He fought his way through the agony with a 51* campaign score to go with a first-inning five, but was knocked out in the subsequent Sydney Test.
During Australia’s first practice session at Nagpur’s Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Green did not bat.
The Australia vice-captain indicated before of the first Test against India that the squad will have to wait for a decision on Green’s participation in the Competition XI, though he is unlikely to participate.
Steve Smith stated during a pre-match press conference in Nagpur. “I don’t think he is [going to play]. I don’t think he’s even faced fast bowlers yet. So I dare say he won’t be playing but who knows. I’m not entirely sure. We’ll wait and see,”
“But it’s unlikely, I think,”
For the first Test, Australia will select a specialist hitter at No. 6 and only four bowlers. On the outside, it appeared that Australia was set to hit two spin and two fastballs two days into the Test.
Smith said “It’s pretty dry. Particularly one end that I think will take a bit of spin, particularly the left-arm spinner spinning it back into our left-handers. There’s a section there that’s quite dry. Other than that, I can’t really get a good gauge on it,”
“I don’t think there will be a heap of bounce in the wicket. I think for the seamers it will be quite skiddy and maybe a bit of up-and-down movement as the game goes on. The cracks felt quite loose. We’ll wait and see when we get out there,” Smith added
Scott Boland will be the replacement for the injured Josh Hazlewood. Lance Morris was the only other speedy player available, but he only played center alongside Green in Nagpur.
On the other side, Green’s absence will make it tough for him to follow suit, as he bowled at the center of the VCA pitch on Tuesday as part of his recuperation from finger surgery.
“ Possibly” Smith spoke on the possibility of teaming Nathan Lyon with two Agar teammates, Todd Murphy and Mitchell Swepson. “If Greeny was fit, it would be definitely more of an option.
“Without him I’m not entirely sure. We’ve got a strategy meeting this arvo where we’ll talk about what we think. Ultimately it’s down to the selectors to pick the team they think is best for the surface,” Vice captain Steve Smith opined.