Boom Australian all-rounder Cameron Green should be the first man selectors call if they need to add anyone to their T20 World Cup squad after blasting the fastest ever T20 half-century against India in the third and final match in Hyderabad.
Both Green, who isn’t in the squad for the tournament that starts in November, and Tim David, who is, smashed half-centuries but neither were enough for the Aussies who went down in the final over to lose the series 2-1.
Australian captain Aaron Finch said it was “not my domain” on whether Green should be in the squad after the 23-year-old whacked 52 off just 21 balls opening the batting in the absence of David Warner.
Green reached his 50 in just 19 balls, setting a new record for the quickest 50 ever struck against India in T20 cricket, smashing three sixes and seven fours after being asked to open the batting in all three games.
The innings came after Green made 61 in the opening match, just his second T20 for Australia.
“He‘s shown his class and especially to bat at the top of the order in a position that he hasn’t done before,” Finch said.
“He hasn’t played much T20 to be honest, so the way that he took the game on and was ultra-aggressive from the start, I loved that about him and he had a good impact with the ball today as well.”
Green was also Australia’s most impressive bowler, conceding just 14 runs in three overs, and coach Andrew McDonald knows where to turn should he need World Cup reinforcements.
“I think he’s certainly embracing the challenge of opening. We asked him to show intent at the top of the order and everything we have seen suggests he’s doing that,” he said.
“It’s fortuitous (with Warner absent) but he’s taken that opportunity and that’s all you can do. He’s taken on some of the best bowlers in world cricket. To do it two out of three times is very impressive, and bodes well.
“If anything were to happen with someone in the (World Cup squad) 15, I think it’s obvious that we‘ve got some good depth there.”
David also showed the power hitting he was picked for, smashing 54 runs off just 27 balls, including four sixes, to set up a score of 7-186 for Australia.
But Glenn Maxwell contributed just six, after being run out, and made just seven runs in the three games, with a first ball duck in the second match.
Steve Smith also struggled, making just nine as his spot in the team remains a lingering question going to the World Cup.
But missing injured all-rounders Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis and paceman Mitchell Starc, Australia lacked in the bowling department.
For the second time in two games, Daniel Sams had the job of delivering the final over, and needing 11 to win, Indian star Virat Kohli smashed a six to start before Hardik Pandya edged the fifth ball for four to secure the win and the series.
“It was a really good series. To be able to play three games against a world-class side has been great for this side,” Australia captain Finch added.
The Aussies have another five matches to play before the start of their World Cup defence, with two against the West Indies and three against England in October.