Emotions ran high as Cameron Green reached his maiden Test century on Friday, braving the sweltering conditions.
The excitement was visible on his face and the youngster ran towards Usman Khawaja after reaching the milestone, tackling a star-studded Indian bowling line-up.
Green hugged Khawaja, who stood like a rock and scored 180 to guide Australia to 480 in the first innings of the fourth Test, and later admitted that the latter’s guidance helped him end the century drought.
In the last 19 Test outings, Green had fallen between 74 and 84 five times. But he was in no mood to repeat the mistakes on the 20th occasion as he finally reach the three-digit-mark.
“You feel more like a Test cricketer when you’ve got that monkey off your back, so it is nice to tick that off in a way,” he said.
It’s obviously a ‘special’ feeling for the 23-year-old, who made his debut in the longer format at the fag end of 2020, when India toured Down Under, and has emerged as one of the dependable middle-order batters for his side since.
Returning to the team after recovering from a finger injury, Green walked out to bat with an aggressive mindset and thanked Khawaja for helping him out.
“He’s an experienced head that’s played Test cricket for more than 10 years now, he’s so valuable for guys like myself and a few of the young guys in the team,” Green said.
“I’m trying to learn as much as I can off him, and luckily enough there are a lot of guys in the change rooms like that…”
Standing tall at 6 feet 6 inches, Green has already stamped his class in T20s, becoming one of the major buys for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction last year. But the youngster, by his own admission, was waiting to prove his mettle in the whites and he’s happy to have made that happen. “It’s an incredibly tough game, and when you get moments like that you really cherish them,” he said.
Coming in at a time when Australia was at 170 for four, Green forged a 208-run partnership with Khawaja, that eventually paved the way for the visiting team’s big total. His 114-run innings showed his character and also earned praise from Ravichandran Ashwin, who called him a ‘once-in-a-generation cricketer’ and a ‘fantastic player’.
“I hope you tuned into the IPL auction; it just tells you how the Indian cricketing fraternity rates Cameron Green,” Ashwin said after the day’s play. “He’s a fantastic player. Just the raw materials for a person as tall as him, lovely levers, good batting sense, can bowl and really hit the deck well, moves pretty well on the field,” the Indian spinner, who claimed Green’s wicket, said.
“These are once-in-a-generation cricketers you are talking about. We come from different countries – India is very different, we can’t protect such players for a long period of time. It’s perform or perish. But in countries like Australia and England, they’re doing pretty well at that. I expect Cameron Green to be a wonderful cricketer down the line.”
The cricketing world would hope so, too.
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