Australian head coach Andrew McDonald has raised concerned on the fitness of star all-rounder Cameron Green as he faces race against time to be fit for the Nagpur Test which starts on 9 February. According to McDonald, the bowling load f Green will be a particular concern as the tries to recover from the finger injury he sustained during Australia’s Boxing Day match against South Africa.
McDonald concerned for Green
"Where he's positioned at the moment, his biggest challenge is bowling," McDonald said.
"There is a lack of loading there, and one of the key reasons around us getting into this camp early is to make sure that we're ready to go for the rigours of what the bowling unit [is] going to encompass.
“Building confidence is the main thing, setting him up to succeed in that first Test match, having enough time, that will be the critical question,” the Aussie coach added.
Australia are optimistic on he availability of Green who is a vital part of the troop as adds both batting and bowling superiority to the team. Green has played 18 Test matches for the national side where he has scored 806 runs and scalped 23 wickets.
"We value his batting first and foremost really, he's a batter in our top six and we value that, his bowling is a bonus. A very nice bonus," McDonald added.
"We see Handscomb as an important right-hand option. We've got a lot of left handers. If there were to be any late changes, or Cameron Green doesn't make that first Test, we feel we have some good options."
On Mitchell Starc
Another major concern for coach McDonald will be availability of star bowler Mitchell Starc who is also part of the treatment table. Like Green, Starc also suffered a finger injury in the Boxing day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and has been already ruled out of the opening match in Nagpur.
“It's probably frustrating for Mitch that he feels that good. But the good thing is when he does get out of the splint all his workloads are going to be up to speed and it will be pretty much into that second Test, which is good news to us," McDonald said.
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WTC race going down the wire
Australia will play a four-match Test series against India which kick starts on 9 February at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. The series will have bearings on the World Test Championship (WTC) where both India and Australia are in pole positions to make the final in June while South Africa and Sri Lanka are also in contention with an outside chance if India fail to make the most of the opportunity.