West Australian prodigy Cameron Green is one step closer to an international debut after Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis suffered a side injury during Friday’s match against India.
Stoinis left the field part-way through his seventh over with a low-grade side strain, and did not take part in the remainder of Australia’s 66-run victory at the SCG.
The 31-year-old remains in doubt for Sunday’s second ODI, but his unfortunate setback could be a blessing in disguise for Australian selectors.
Stoinis had failed to muster a half-century in his last 19 ODI matches, averaging 15.00 with the bat in that period. He has never scored a half-century during an Australian victory in any format.
If Stoinis were unable to take part in Sunday’s match, Australian legend Shane Warne called for Green to be given an opportunity to prove his worth at international level.
Green’s stellar form with the bat in the Sheffield Shield, combined with his potential to bowl in excess of 140km/h, makes him the ideal like-for-like replacement according to Warne.
“It’s a perfect time,” Warne told Fox Cricket on Friday. “The Australian side is playing good cricket, everyone’s in a bit of form, it’s a good side to come in and make your debut.
“I wouldn’t be going back to (Moises) Henriques. I think he’s, if a few other fall over and there’s a few injuries, he’s a good back up, but I think there’s a few ahead of him, I would’ve thought.”
Although Green would be considered the most appropriate candidate to replace Stoinis, he is still recovering from a back strain which has hampered his bowling for more 12 months.
However, Australian batsman Steve Smith revealed Green had been working on his bowling ahead of the series opener, and was impressed with what he saw.
“He’s started really well in the Shield season,” Smith told reporters. “He’s a bright talent.
“I faced him for a couple of balls in the nets this afternoon before the game, it’s the first time I’ve seen him bowl and he bowls a heavy ball. He looks an impressive talent and if he gets the opportunity hopefully he can take it with both hands.”
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa snared four wickets during Friday’s encounter, and for that reason, former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody believes fellow tweaker Ashton Agar should get the call-up.
Agar currently averages 61.90 with the ball in the 50-over format, but started his Sheffield Shield campaign with a century and five-wicket haul against South Australia.
”A lot would think Green or Henriques would be the obvious replacement. Given what we’ve seen today, I’d be selecting Ashton Agar,” Moody tweeted on Friday.
National selectors would also consider picking New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott, who has developed into a formidable all-rounder this summer.
Despite competing in batting-friendly conditions, the 28-year-old snared 14 wickets at 17.92 to become the Sheffield Shield’s third-highest wicket-taker.
Abbott also scored 261 runs in five first-class innings, averaging 130.50 with the bat this season.
Australia will face India in the second ODI at the SCG on Sunday, with the first ball scheduled for 2:40pm local time.