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Chris Rogers lauds 'extraordinary' talent of Cameron Green

Australia's newest ODI and T20I squad member has impressed everyone who has seen him from junior cricket to Sheffield Shield level

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
Cameron Green drills one down the ground  •  Getty Images

Cameron Green drills one down the ground  •  Getty Images

The sky is the limit for Australian cricket's rising star Cameron Green, according to former Australia Under-19 coach and current Victoria coach Chris Rogers.
Green, 21, was named in Australia's 18-man white-ball squad to face India on the back of a stunning 12 months in Sheffield Shield cricket, where he's scored 929 runs at 84.45 in nine games including four centuries, although he hasn't played many List A 50-over or T20 cricket and has only scored one half-century in 22 matches across both formats.
Former Cricket Australia talent manager Greg Chappell told The Australian earlier this week that "he is the best young player I've seen since Ricky Ponting". He had been bullish about Green when he was at the National Performance Centre in 2018 where Rogers was working as a batting coach and took very little convincing of his talent.
"The thing with Cam is he picked things up so quickly, little instructions or tips that he would adapt into his game really, really quickly," Rogers said. "So it hasn't been surprising how well he's been able to do things like that. What has been surprising is the fact that he can bat for such a long period of time.
"That is quite extraordinary for a young man developing that skill to be able to face 450 balls is off the charts. That's unbelievable really. If he can continue to do things like that then the sky is the limit."
Ponting played 26 Sheffield Shield matches before he made his ODI debut for Australia in February 1995 as a 20-year-old. He had scored 2,358 Shield runs at 54.84 with nine centuries 100s and nine half-centuries. He added two more centuries before his Test debut later that year. Ponting had a similarly mediocre List A record prior to his debut having scored just one half-century in 21 matches for Tasmania and Australia A yet he went on to become Australia's all-time leading run-scorer in both Test and ODI cricket.
Much has been made about Green's bowling ability given he already has two five-wicket hauls in first-class cricket but he hasn't bowled in a game since November last year due to ongoing back issues. He is hoping to bowl in this week's Shield game against Tasmania.
Rogers believes Green's bowling could be his second string despite popular opinion.
"I think his bowling could be on a par, but that's just saying how good his batting is," he said. "It's interesting because when he does bowl, it looks effortless and it's fast and it's bouncy and he can swing the ball out, so he's obviously got every attribute but it obviously puts a lot of pressure on his back. Hopefully, he can sort that because if he can, you'll see quite an incredible cricketer.
"There's a lot of pressure on him, but it will be up to him how he continues to develop."
Western Australia team-mate Sam Whiteman wasn't surprised by Chappell's comments about Green, but he did not think the hype would affect him.
"It's probably spot on," Whiteman said. "I think Greeny is a guy that can tune a lot of information out. Yeah, there's a lot of pressure to that comment but he's fortunate he's got a big group around him here to guide him and stick him to what he's doing now. Because clearly, it's working."
Whiteman shared a 173-run stand with Green during his marathon innings of 197 against New South Wales last week.
The Blues threw everything at Green during that innings and he remained unflustered and determined to bat for as long as he possibly could.
"I think that's the most impressive thing about Greeny is when he gets in, he bats for long periods of time," Whiteman said. "You could see the other day when he got out just before 200 he was shattered.
"When he first came in a lot of sides would go the short stuff and guys watching probably thought that was his one weakness but credit to him, he's worked hard at. Like you saw the other day he rode it out for 20-30 overs, picking the right ball to pull. He definitely deserves that selection. Everyone is pumped for him. What a great opportunity."

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne