'Frontrunner' appears in World Cup qualifier as Australia's injury crisis exposed

‘Frontrunner’ appears in World Cup qualifier as Australia’s injury crisis exposed

Brad Haddin believes the easiest solution to Australia’s injury crisis is to bring Cameron Green into Australia’s playing XI for their final group game against Afghanistan.

Australia’s T20 World Cup defense took another twist on Monday night when captain Aaron Finch, star all-rounder and batsman Tim David all suffered tendon injuries.

Neither hamstring injury appears to be significant, however, with the first semi-final (November 10) more than a week away, Australia’s selectors are unlikely to risk it.

It leaves Australia with several decisions leading into their must-win final group game, with their semi-final qualification far from sealed.

Even if they beat Afghanistan and continue their rise and improve their net run rate, Australia’s selectors may well decide to either shelve their key trio and hope they get over their hamstring tweaks by next week’s semi-final. .

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Australia captain Aaron Finch is in danger of missing part of the T20 World Cup. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

They have depth, with all-rounder Cameron Green and batsman Steve Smith among the two stars in the wider Australian squad yet to be called up.

Finch’s injury appears to be the worst and given that he is the captain, the Australian selectors could be cautious about the veteran opener as the knockout stage of the tournament is around the corner.

“Bit of ham, so I’ll get scans tomorrow,” Finch said after the game.

“Unfortunately, I have had a history of them. It doesn’t seem so bad to me.’

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Smith said on Tuesday that he was confident he would be able to repeat his performances from the 2015 ODI World Cup domestic success, but added that Green was a compelling choice if they went with his younger teammate.

“He’s pretty talented, isn’t he?” Smith said of Green.

“We saw how he played especially in India, he opened the bat, went for it and it worked. That’s another route the selectors will go down if the boys don’t come. So lots of options and good depth in our team.

“I loved 2015, the end of this tournament, it’s been a long time but I think I’ve gone past 50 in all the last four or five World Cup games,” he said.

“I know when we get into pressure stages, I’d like to think I’m doing well in those situations. So if there’s an opportunity, I’ll be ready to go.”


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Speaking to Triple M, former Australian vice-captain Haddin, who won the 2015 ODI World Cup, said Green was probably the front-runner to make the side if they made just one change as it would be the least disruptive.

“It will be a really interesting selection because Afghanistan will be mostly bowlers,” Haddin said. Triple M.

“You have Rashid Khan and Mujeeb (Ur Rahman) who are their big X-factor players and Steve Smith plays spin better than anyone in the world, so take him in the middle order and push Stoinis to the top. because Marcus Stoinis was a dynamo at the moment. He plays a really aggressive game, he’s comfortable in his role in the middle, so you want to move him up?

“On the other side you have Cameron Green and we saw Australia’s appetite to have him at the top of the order leading into this tournament.

“The obvious replacement for me is the green goes up, which gives you another bowling option. You have three quick, three medium-quick all-rounders, so you have a choice with the ball. So I would imagine Green is a trailblazer.”

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Green’s breakthrough came during the three-match tour of India last month, where the all-rounder smashed two half-centuries at the top of the order in the absence of David Warner.

Despite not being in the starting World Cup squad, the 23-year-old struggled to get starts against the West Indies and England as his hit-and-hope approach backfired. This led to the likes of Mark Waugh and Michael Clarke rejecting the decision to give Green opportunities ahead of Smith.

But a freak injury to Josh Inglis on the eve of the tournament paved the way for the rising star to make the World Cup squad.

Aaron Finch (R) is in danger of missing Australia’s must-win T20 tournament against Afghanistan. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

While Haddin said he would like to find a place in the XI for Smith, the former goalkeeper added that Green was probably the front-runner given the opportunities presented to him in the opening games and the fact that it could be a straight swap.

“I would love to find a place for Steve Smith, but the way Australia have played the previous games of this tournament gives Cameron Green as much time as he can at the top of the order (meaning second choice),” Haddin said.

“If he comes, it’s one change, if Steve Smith comes, it’s a few changes.

Haddin added that the settled nature of the middle order meant Australia would be reluctant to disrupt it.

“At the moment I think Stoinis is playing a really good role in the middle. He’s confident, he’s aggressive,” Haddin said.

“(Glenn) Maxwell is just starting to find some rhythm.” Matthew Wade, you won’t be moving because he played such an important role at seven. You could move Maxwell up, but then there are two changes.

“I think the easiest thing is to bring in Cameron Green. It’s a big choice that the selectors have and it’s a good choice because you’re bringing in two good players.”

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