Marsh’s hip injury gives Green another chance to flex

Australia’s plans for the white-ball matches against Pakistan have been upset by an untimely hip flexor injury to Mitch Marsh, opening the door for Cameron Green to expand his already considerable footprint on the national team.

Green’s emergence as a genuine top-six batting option who can also bowl Test match-quality overs arguably ended Marsh’s international long-form prospects a couple of years ago. Since then, Marsh has played a pivotal role in last year’s Twenty20 World Cup victory in the UAE, while Green solidified his Test place against England and Pakistan.

White-ball chance: Cameron Green.Credit:AP

Marsh was awaiting the results of scans on the hip flexor injury suffered in training on Sunday, but captain Aaron Finch had more or less already ruled the 30-year-old out of the reckoning for four matches in little more than a week.

“I don’t think he’ll be available for the series based on how he was feeling yesterday,” Finch said. “It was a high-intensity sort of lateral movement drill and [he] bent down, picked it up one hand and went to throw and felt a twinge in his hip flexor. So we’ll know more early afternoon after the scans come back.”

Green’s only limited-overs appearance for Australia so far was an ODI against India in Canberra in December 2020, where he made 21 batting at No.5 and bowled four overs costing 27 runs. Since then, however, he has made numerous impactful contributions in Test matches, not least a vital innings and critical early wicket on the final day of the Lahore Test match last week.

“Cam will play and probably bat in that middle order role, which will be similar to what he played last time in Australia,” Finch said. “We’re seeing that he’s a super talented cricketer. He’s someone who’s been quite consistent in his Test career so far. His impact with bat and ball can’t be underestimated.”

The late withdrawal of Steve Smith from the series due to an ongoing elbow complaint opens further opportunities for others, though Finch reckoned that even in Twenty20 matches the Test vice-captain remained a locked-in member of the core squad.

“It was unfortunate that with his elbow, it just keeps flaring up,” Finch said. “That’s a reflection of a guy who’s got everything that he can out of himself over the last couple of years and has batted so much that that is probably an injury that just needs to be monitored over and over.

“In terms of his role within the side, I think that we saw a really flexible role that he’s played over the last couple of years when he’s played T20 cricket, he’s batted at three and done a really good job. He’s batted in the middle and done a really good job as well and got us some really important runs. So, I’m confident that we know what we’re going to get every day that he turns up.”

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