In a major blow to Australia, Steve Smith on Tuesday all but confirmed that fast bowling all-rounder Cameron Green is ‘unlikely’ to take part in the first Test against India on Thursday.
“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,” he said at a pre-match press conference.
Green damaged his right index finger during the Boxing Day test win over South Africa in Melbourne and was only given clearance to return to training by his doctor on Monday following surgery.
Talking about the prospect of partnering Nathan Lyon and other spinners like Ashton Agar, Todd Murphy and Mitchell Swepson, Smith said: “Possibly. 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 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.”
Earlier on Tuesday, former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist had rooted for Green’s place in Australia’s playing XI for the first Test. Gilchrist said that Green should play against India – despite the all-rounder being unable to bowl.
Backing Green for the no.6 position, Gilchrist said Green is still deserving of his spot.”I think they’ll start with Green at six, assuming he’s fully fit and not hindered by that finger injury at all,” Gilchrist said on SEN’s podcast.