Australia all-rounder Green has 'outside chance' of being fit for first India Test

By Sports Desk February 04, 2023

Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has revealed Cameron Green has an "outside chance" of being fit for the first Test against India as he recovers from a broken finger.

The all-rounder has made quick progress ahead of a first match of the four-match series that starts at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium next Thursday.

McDonald suggested Green may be selected as a specialist batter in Nagpur.

"He's made some significant steps forward in the last couple of days, probably to my surprise, so there's still an outside chance that everything going well he might be on the team sheet," McDonald told reporters in Alur on Saturday.

"I wouldn't say he was in discomfort with his bowling, one of the deliveries jarred the bottom of the bat and that can create discomfort for anyone but there's a little bit of awareness around that finger."

Paceman Mitchell Starc will not play in the opening Test after he sustained a damaged middle finger during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG.

Australia captain Pat Cummins says no decision has been made on the team to take on India.

"I wouldn't say it [two spinners] is a given, it's very conditions dependent so particularly this first Test, once we get to Nagpur we'll see," Cummins said.

"I think sometimes talking about a couple of spinners you forget how good a lot of our fast bowlers have been in all conditions. Even some of the SCG wickets, there hasn't been a lot in them for quick bowlers but the quick bowlers have found a way.

"We've got plenty of bowling options here - finger spin, wrist spin, left-arm, Starcy when he comes back - so we'll obviously pick the bowlers we think can take 20 wickets, how we are going to split that up we aren't 100 per cent sure yet."

Related items

  • Spinners keep England’s hopes of unlikely victory alive Spinners keep England’s hopes of unlikely victory alive

    England’s spinners kept alive hopes of setting up a Dharamshala decider with the fourth Test on a knife edge as India lurched from 84 for none to 100 for three, chasing 192.

    India’s propulsion to 40 without loss from eight overs at stumps on day three left them needing a further 152, and Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal found boundaries easy to come by on Monday morning.

    But, as the run rate dried up, Joe Root snared Jaiswal for 37 before Tom Hartley nicked off Rohit for 55, with Shoaib Bashir then having Rajat Patidar caught bat-pad as India went to lunch on 118 for three – still needing a further 74 runs to move into an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

    On a tricky pitch offering turn and uneven bounce, England will remain optimistic they can level things up before heading to the foothills of the Himalayas for the fifth Test, starting on March 7.

    Bashir was bullish about England’s prospects of an unlikely win the previous evening, insisting “we’ve got a chance to be heroes” but there was little to crow about early on.

    Rohit lofted James Anderson into the stands beyond deep midwicket for six, with even Ben Stokes nodding in admiration, while Jaiswal – the leading run scorer in the series – used conventional and reverse sweeps to take fours off Bashir and Hartley.

    But Bashir and Hartley gradually offered more control and when Root came on for one over, he tossed one up to Jaiswal, who was tempted into a big swing but instead miscued to backward point, where a diving Anderson took a fine low catch.

    The big fish was Rohit and England’s animated celebrations – particularly Stokes – upon his dismissal told its own tale.

    Rohit advanced to Hartley and seemed to be beaten on the outside edge as Ben Foakes whipped off the bails, but it was subsequently found the India captain had got a tickle to the ball.

    Seven balls later, the out-of-form Patidar got an inside edge into his pad to Ollie Pope, who took an excellent catch leaping to his right at short-leg, and England were cock-a-hoop.

    Harley scuttled one along the ground to Ravindra Jadeja, beating leg stump and rolling away for four byes – India’s first boundary in 11.3 overs. Shubman Gill (18 not out off 62 balls) and Jadeja (3no off 29) went at a trickle but made sure there were no further casualties.

  • England’s Shoaib Bashir dedicates maiden five-for to his late grandfathers England’s Shoaib Bashir dedicates maiden five-for to his late grandfathers

    England off-spinner Shoaib Bashir dedicated his maiden five-wicket haul in professional cricket to his late grandfathers as he geared up for one of the biggest days of his embryonic career.

    Bashir, at 20 years and 135 days old, became England’s second youngest bowler to claim a Test five-for in just his second appearance in the format and his eighth first-class match.

    His five for 119 in the fourth Test against India in Ranchi helped England claim a 46-run lead after the first innings but a batting collapse has left the tourists with much to do to square the series.

    While taking time to reflect on a significant moment in his life, Bashir insisted England remained confident after India closed on 40 without loss, chasing 192 to move 3-1 up in the five-match series.

    “It was quite emotional – I lost my two granddads about a year-and-a-half ago and they used to just sit and watch Test cricket all the time,” Bashir said.

    “Their wish was to see me out on the TV, I know they’re supporting me from up above. It was a very special moment on my journey. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have thought anything like this (would happen) but that was really special.

    “I know I (still) have a job to do and me and Tom (Hartley) are really excited for the challenge.

    “We know us two lads are up against a world-class (India) attack but we’ve got a chance to be heroes.

    “That pitch is deteriorating quite a bit now. We saw some pop from a good length and some roll. That’s good signs for us.”

    England’s approach has been characterised by relentless optimism but they surrendered pole position in the penultimate contest after succumbing to a trial by spin on a turning pitch offering uneven bounce.

    Ravichandran Ashwin averaged nearly 39 with the ball in the series before this third day but claimed five for 51, while fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav was just as impressive as he took four for 22.

    Zak Crawley’s dismissal for 60 was the start of England crumbling from 110 for three to 145 all out, having earlier let India add 130 for their last three wickets, led by Dhruv Jurel’s excellent 90.

    Bashir, though, was predictably upbeat about England’s chances, despite India openers Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal going at five an over in the half hour before stumps to leave just 152 more to win.

    “India played well; Jurel batted really well towards the end. He probably scored a few more runs than we would have liked but we’re going to bowl them out (on Monday),” Bashir said.

    “The pitch is deteriorating massively so anything can happen. It’s 10 chances to take 10 wickets. We saw how Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja bowled on that wicket and we take huge confidence from that.”

    Jurel was put down on 59 by Ollie Robinson, who let a head-high chance burst through his fingers, and added another 31 before Hartley spun one sharply past his outside edge and disturbed the stumps.

    Jurel marshalling the bowlers in his second Test – sharing important partnerships of 76 with Kuldeep and 40 with Akash Deep – was compared to Mahendra Singh Dhoni by another India great, Sunil Gavaskar.

    “It feels great if a legend like Gavaskar gives a compliment like that,” Jurel said.

    “I don’t regret a bit on missing (out on) the hundred. It’s my debut Test series, it’s always a childhood dream to play for India in Tests.”

  • England face fight to save series as spinners put India in command England face fight to save series as spinners put India in command

    England succumbed to their trial by spin as India were left 192 to win the fourth Test and the series following Ravichandran Ashwin’s five-wicket haul.

    After India turned an overnight 219 for seven into 307 all out, whittling a first-innings deficit down to 46, Ashwin’s five for 51 and Kuldeep Yadav’s four for 22 led to England being skittled for 145.

    Zak Crawley top-scored with 60, but his dismissal marked the start of England’s collapse from 110 for three on the third afternoon on a pitch offering significant turn and uneven bounce.

    England, trailing 2-1 in the five-match series, were unable to make a breakthrough in the last half hour as they try to force a decider in Dharamshala next month, with India closing on 40 without loss.

    Joe Root and Tom Hartley shared the new ball and Shoaib Bashir, who earlier became the second youngest English men’s bowler to take a Test five-wicket haul in just his eighth first-class appearance, had an over and it is likely the trio will have plenty of work to do to prevent an England defeat on day four.

    The tourists are not out of it, but may end up ruing Ollie Robinson dropping Dhruv Jurel on 59, with the wicketkeeper making 90 to lead India’s recovery from 177 for seven the previous evening.

    There was more DRS controversy as Joe Root was given lbw on review, with former England captain Michael Vaughan suggesting on social media enough of Ashwin’s delivery had pitched outside leg-stump.

    But England’s batters were outfoxed by India’s vaunted spinners, with Rohit Sharma turning immediately to Ashwin in the second innings despite an underwhelming series beforehand, averaging nearly 39.

    Ashwin, though, is a master of these conditions and bagged his 350th and 351st Test wickets in India from successive deliveries to set the hares running.

    Ben Duckett was first persuaded into a defensive push to short-leg on 15 then Ollie Pope got into a tangle as he misjudged the length and was leg-before for a golden duck and a three-ball pair in the Test.

    Crawley negotiated the hat-trick ball and settled into some rhythm with three cover drives for four in four deliveries when India’s premier spinner over-pitched, but a blossoming stand with Root ended on 46 when the Yorkshireman missed a flick after helping to stretch England’s lead to three figures.

    There was some suspicion most of Ashwin’s delivery from round the wicket had landed outside leg, but India’s review returned three reds and first-innings centurion Root was on his way for 11, despite scepticism on social media about the result technology returned.

    Jonny Bairstow was punchy early on and Crawley moved to a third fifty of the series, but India still had one more trump card in Kuldeep, who followed up an obdurate 28 off 131 balls by ransacking England’s batting.

    Crawley’s fourth ball against the left-arm wrist-spinner turned lavishly through the gate and clattered middle stump, while Ben Stokes made a chancy four off 13 balls before meeting the same fate.

    Stokes was first struck on the back leg by a scuttler and initially seemed oblivious as to why India were celebrating but threw his head back and grinned wryly after turning round and seeing the bails on the ground.

    When Bairstow tamely punched the first ball after tea to cover off Ravindra Jadeja to depart for 30, England had lost three wickets for 10 runs in 31 balls, leaving Ben Foakes to bat with the bowlers.

    Robinson’s dismal day continued as he was twice struck on the pad by Kuldeep, overturning one lbw verdict but not the other and out for a three-ball duck, before Foakes and Bashir dug in.

    The pair put on 12 in 74 balls, but Foakes chipped back to Ashwin, who had his first five-for of the series when James Anderson got a tickle to a reverse sweep.

    Bashir earlier bagged the one scalp he needed for a first five-wicket haul in any form of professional cricket in just his second Test after snaring Akash Deep and the 20-year-old should have accounted for Jurel, only for the ball to burst through Robinson’s hands at midwicket.

    Tom Hartley gave an indication of what was to come by turning one sharply past Jurel’s bat and castling him on the stroke of lunch, but England had allowed India to add a princely 130 for the last three wickets.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.