Life as Australia's new No.4 has begun in disappointing fashion for Cameron Green, with the 24-year-old out cheaply on day two of the opening Test against the West Indies in Adelaide. Green failed to make the most of his first innings since being recalled to Australia's Test side, following the retirement of veteran batter David Warner.
A day after Steve Smith flopped in his first crack at opening in Test cricket, Green also flattered to deceive as West Indies debutant Shamar Joseph clinched a special piece of history. Joseph removed both Smith (12) and Marnus Labuschagne (10) on day one after the tourists were bowled out for 188 - thanks to four-wicket hauls from Aussie quicks Pat Cummins (4-41) and Josh Hazlewood (4-44).
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Joseph continued on day two where he left off on the opening day, despite being hit for back-to-back boundaries by Green in a promising sign for the all-rounder. However, it was Joseph that had the last laugh after tempting Green into a forward defensive shot and catching the outside edge to remove the West Australian for just 14.
The wicket saw Joseph move onto figures of 3/67 and saw the quick seal an incredible 62-year first after becoming the first West Indies Test debutant since Lester King in 1962 to claim the team’s first three scalps. “Green is gone. He’s done it again the kid!” Fox Cricket’s Ian Smith said in commentary.
Joseph strikes again and Cam Green is OUT first over 😲
📺 WATCH #AUSvWI on Ch. 501 or stream via @kayosports https://t.co/BtKGJLI8RP
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— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 17, 2024
WI bowlers on Test debut taking the first 3 wickets of their first bowling innings
1939 - John Cameron
1950 - Alfred Valentine
1958 - Wes Hall
1962 - Lester King
2024 - SHAMAR JOSEPH
— Swamp (@sirswampthing) January 17, 2024
While it was another moment to savour for Joseph - who described his debut Test wicket of a Smith as a dream come true - it was one to forget for Green. The 24-year-old won his place back in the Test XI after being backed to fill Smith's role at No.4, following the veteran's promotion to the top of the order.
Cameron Green fails in first innings as new No.4
On paper it appeared to be a favourable first-up fixture for Green against a West Indies side that most critics wrote off before the start of the two-Test series against Australia. Joseph and his teammates clearly forgot to read the script though, with Green given a brutal reminder about the step up to Test level and the expectations from success-hungry Aussie cricket fans.
So glad we displaced Steve Smith from 4 and ignored the best opening bat in the country so Cam Green could scratch around for 14 against the West Indies
— Nicholas Shirt (@NicholasShirt) January 17, 2024
Cam Green makes more runs at Sheffield Shield level than anyone else. Would have him at 5 and Head at 4 though
— Richard Ballard (@warnbells) January 18, 2024
Australian selectors have done a lot right in last 12 months but having an out of form Cam Green who has played not much cricket in the team was never the right option. Hopefully that changes for Brisbane #AUSvsWI
— Michael Robinson (@ozrobbo) January 17, 2024
Surprise Surprise - Cameron Green failed … 😨
— John Wright (@Jonowright75) January 18, 2024
Still confused as to why people think Cameron Green is a generational talent #AUSvWI
— Matt (@KingSwitchMatt) January 18, 2024
Another Windies debutant stamps his mark
Green's wicket must have left the Windies sensing a big opportunity against the Test world champions in Adelaide, with the classy Usman Khawaja doing his best to steady the ship for the home side. Last season's leading Test run-scorer looked like notching his 25th Test half century, until another Windies debutant, Justin Greaves, got in on the act.
Khawaja couldn't resist the temptation to try and drive a full-pitched delivery from Greaves down the ground for a boundary, with the Windies quick instead catching the veteran's outside edge. Alick Athanaze took a slick catch at second slip to remove Khawaja for 45 to once again give the tourists a sniff.
Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh went about re-establishing Australia's position of power in the first Test, with the latter scorching a textbook cover drive to the boundary before becoming the next to fall. This time Greaves was the man on the end of a superb catch as he stepped in from third slip and dived low to his left to remove Marsh for just five runs.
Marsh's wicket brought wicketkeeper Alex Carey to the crease with the Aussies in a precarious position of 5-129 in the opening session. Carey made it to lunch on 10, with Head continuing his stunning displays in all forms of cricket for Australia by racing into the forties as the hosts got to lunch at 5-144.
Head notched his fifty shortly after the lunch break to lead the fightback for the Aussies. Moments later, however, Greaves struck again to remove Carey for 15 and leave the hosts on 6-168. That wicket saw Head accelerate his and Australia's run rate, with the 30-year-old slashing his way into the nineties.
Batting partner Mitchell Starc (10) became Joseph's fourth scalp when he was removed in a sharp catch at bat-pad but there was no stopping Head. The 30-year-old reaffirmed his growing influence on the Aussie side by bringing up his seventh Test century after a sumptuous drive through the covers for four.
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