India’s ace offspinner R Ashwin believes Cameron Green is a "once in a generation" cricketer after the Australian all-rounder brought up his maiden Test hundred on day two in Ahmedabad. The tall right-hander slammed 114 off 170 and was relieved after getting that monkey off his back.
"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. It's so special. I think I might've gotten a bit lucky. I got from 70 to 80 to 90 pretty quickly, so that probably helped a bit, not having too much time to think about it, that's all,” said Green at the post-day press conference on Friday (March 10).
Ashwin, who claimed six wickets on a dead surface, heaped heavy praise on Green. "I think 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 in the field. These are once-in-a-generation cricketers you are talking about,” said Green.
"In countries like Australia and England, these cricketers are groomed pretty well. Expect Cameron Green to be a wonderful cricketer down the line. However, we come from different countries, India is very different. We can’t protect such players for longer periods of time. It is perform or perish (in India).
"I played a practice game against him at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney (on the 2020-21 tour). From there on, I've been watching him bat, how well he moves to balls outside off, how well he comes down the pitch, how he sweeps the ball when he came to the subcontinent. As a bowler, it's my duty to keep a check on all these things and also try to make a plan to try and make it uncomfortable for him."
It was Green and Usman Khawaja (180) who put Australia in a commanding position in the fourth and final Test, helping them post 480 runs in their first innings. The two put on 208 runs for the sixth wicket and played a key role in keeping Indian players out on the field for 167.2 overs. Green eventually fell to Ashwin, gloving one to the wicketkeeper while trying to sweep a delivery pitched outside leg.
"I think speaking to Uzzy, it was probably the ball coming back in where you might get your leg caught in the way and that might be the way to get out. Having an experienced head down the other end, you can have these really in-depth conversations and he gives you unreal info back," said Green.
"So spoke to him pretty early on, he said he recommends batting on the leg stump and using your bat and looking to play every ball, whether it's swinging in or swinging 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 the way he goes about it."
This is Green’s 20th Test and the 23-year-old has already seen enough ups and downs. "It's my 20th Test so I've had a good chance to see the ups and downs of Test cricket, see it for what it is. It's an incredibly tough game, and when you get moments like that you really cherish them. I've seen how tough Test cricket is and I'm enjoying every second of it."