Pat Cummins has thrown his support behind cricket young gun Cameron Green as the all-rounder's exile from the Australian Test side looks set to continue for the upcoming series against Pakistan. The Aussies kick off their three-Test series against Pakistan in Perth on Thursday, where it appears Green will once again be overlooked in favour of fellow all-rounder, Mitchell Marsh.
Green was dropped during this year's Ashes series after a run of mediocre form with the bat, with Marsh marking his return to the Test side with a stunning century in the third Test. Green was included alongside Marsh for the fourth Test as the Aussies went for two all-rounders but he was again dropped for the fifth and final Test.
'WHAT A JOKE': Cricket fans fume over Adam Zampa move in BBL
Marsh has since gone on to score two more hundreds in Australia's victorious ODI World Cup campaign and appears to be the preferred all-rounder heading into the first Test of the Aussie summer. Australia coach Andrew McDonald has already forecast a similar line-up to the one that played in the fifth Ashes Test, with the return of veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon for Todd Murphy the only major change.
Green is part of Australia's 14-man squad but his likely omission from the starting XI would represent another blow to a young star who burst onto the scene touted as the future of Australian cricket. Cummins knows all too well about the rollercoaster journey that Green is on, having experienced something similar when he burst onto the scene in 2011.
At 18, Cummins became the youngest Test debutant since 1953 but needed to wait until 2017 to be given a second opportunity after an unfortunate spell with injuries. The Aussie skipper says he can draw off his own experiences to help Green deal with the frustration and disappointment of being on the fringe of Australia's starting XI and with the media exposure that comes with being a member of the Australian cricket team.
"The tough thing about Greeny is, and (there's) probably some comparisons to me, you're learning your craft on the biggest stage," Cummins insisted. "Playing international cricket at a really young age is a privilege but it also does mean you're making your mistakes and failures in front of a really big audience when other guys your age might be doing it at domestic cricket or grade cricket."
Pat Cummins can use his own experience to help Cam Green
Cummins said his own rollercoaster journey to the top of Australian cricket was made easier by the influence and support of his senior teammates. The Aussie skipper says it's a similar role he can take with the likes of Green and back-up paceman Lance Morris, to help the young guns realise their immense potential.
"Some of these senior guys who had been touring forever really put their arms around me and looked after me as a young player," Cummins said. "Mike Hussey was awesome for me, Shane Watson. Hopefully some of the experienced guys in our team can do the same ... whether it's on game day, talking through some of our plans around training sessions or touring, offering little tidbits where we can."
Cummins singled out chief selector George Bailey for his hands-on approach to managing the players on the fringe of the Australian XI. "I remember a couple of old coaches saying that the playing XI will always kind of sort themselves out, (but) it's the guys on the fringes that are the hardest to manage because they've got obvious disappointment," he said. "But I think the way George has managed that over the years has been brilliant."
Mark Waugh keen to see Cam Green open in Tests
Rain and wild weather limited Green's opportunities to impress in the Prime Minister's XI match against Pakistan last week as Matt Renshaw boosted his chances of a Test recall with a classy century. Renshaw, Marcus Harris and Cameron Bancroft are widely considered the frontrunners to replace David Warner as opener when he retires from Test cricket.
Aussie great Mark Waugh is not convinced by any of the trio though, and says Green could be the answer for Australia. "I'd be seriously thinking of getting Cameron Green in to open the batting," Waugh said. “I want him in the team because he just offers so much. He gives great balance because he bowls ten to 15 good hours, he’s a great fieldsman and I think his batting, he hasn’t quite nailed it yet, but when I (have) seen him, he’s got a good technique and he plays fast bowling well...
He’s batted at six so far and often you get the second new ball at six, so.... I just think it could be a bit of a Shane Watson-type situation, so I’d seriously be looking at him, because I want him in the team. At the moment Mitch Marsh has obviously nailed that spot that he was in, so that’d be the way I’d possibly go."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.