Just within limits 30 deliveries on Tuesday nightCameron Greene posed the same question to everyone.
Why is he not in Australia’s T20 World Cup squad?
It’s clear that one innings doesn’t make a T20 star, but there’s no denying that the 23-year-old would have a strong chance of being in the team if picked now.
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Australia named their 15-man squad on September 1 and, given the country won the World Cup less than 12 months ago, there have understandably been very few changes.
The only adjustment to the winning team in 2021 was that reserve Mitchell Swepson made way for breakout star Tim David.
But during a 30-ball 61-run blast against India in Mohali, many are wondering if space should have been made for Green as well.
The right-hander has played only once in a T20I and has never opened the batting in international cricket before the first match.
But with David Warner rested, Green was thrust into a new role – and played an innings well beyond his years, setting up a big four-wicket win for Australia to open the three-match series.
Green was man of the match with Australia chasing 6-208 with four balls remaining. It was Australia’s second highest successful chase in T20 cricket and the highest ever against India.
Teams can still make changes to their squads at the World Cup without the approval of the competition’s technical committee.
It means that while it is unlikely Australia’s selectors will move heaven and earth to include Green in their World Cup plans at this advanced stage, the door is not completely closed.
The selectors still have a few headaches to contend with as the tournament approaches, with some stars struggling with injuries and another showing worrying form.
Mitch Marsh has had injury problems since the 2021 World Cup and will have little chance of playing before the opening match as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Marcus Stoinis is also dealing with a low side strain that cut short his run at the tournament.
Both are expected to be fit for the World Cup, but the lack of playing time in the 20-man game will more than cause some concern. Marsh was only available for one of Australia’s six ODIs against Zimbabwe and New Zealand, while Stoinis sat out the final match through injury.
Of far greater concern, however, is the continued struggle of opener Aaron Finch.
The 35-year-old was so out of form in the 50-over game that he decided to give it up on his return from ODI cricket after Australia’s final against New Zealand.
He did so at an average of just 12.42 from 14 innings in 2022.
Finch’s T20 numbers have been less alarming, though they are still a far cry from those that have made him a lock over the years.
Since last year’s World Cup semi-final, Finch averages 24.90 in T20I cricket with a strike rate of 122.32.
His 22 runs off 13 balls against India in the first T20 match was a decent start to the series, but it is difficult to completely write off a 20-over 20-ball cricketer from a 50-over version that has struggled so much.
Opening the batting in T20 cricket has considerable overlap with the same role in modern ODIs, which are increasingly played at the same pace.
And here Green enters the discussion.
Green has the ability to cover any of Marsh, Stoinis and – as we learned during his opening spell at Mahal – Finch too.
This gives a potential twist to the tale that few saw coming.
Green was included in Australia’s T20 squad for Warner, although it was thought that either Matthew Wade or Josh Inglis would move to the top of the order, with Green in the middle.
Instead, Green was a direct swap for Warner and has now increased the pressure on Finch by proving his incredible versatility.
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke suggested the selectors may regret not including Green in their World Cup squad, with the 23-year-old’s latest white-ball figures being 89*, 25* and 61.
“(He) continues to get better and can hit anywhere in the order,” Clark said Big sports breakfast. “We saw what he can do with the ball and on the field.
“I wonder if the Aussies have any doubts that he’s not in the World Cup squad.
“He had a pretty good one-day series as well.
“I don’t know… the advantage is someone who can bat, bowl and play T20 cricket. I think it is very important. And if you can hit the bat anywhere in the order, he’s got good technique, good power and he’s in good shape. It’s so interesting to see what they think.”
Former India all-rounder Wasim Jaffer said Green was “brilliant” in the first T20, adding that the pressure is now on Finch, with Marsh and Stoinis likely to return if fit and Warner if available.
“By opening it up, Finchey probably put it in a place of concern,” Jaffer said ESPNCricinfo.
“With Warner back, the Australian selectors will be thinking about that. Because Marsh and Stoinis are coming back.
“Does Finch stay away? I don’t know, but Cameron Greene was brilliant.’
Meanwhile, former Australia star Brad Hodge praised Green for his performance in a difficult test for the all-rounder.
“It was a phenomenal performance,” he said. “This is a kid who is not even in the T20 World Cup.
“To come like that and perform in really tough conditions – the wicket was good for sure, but these are two top sides playing against each other with great records.
“To be able to take apart the Indian bowling like that was impressive.”
Time will tell if it is too late for Green to force a change in Australia’s World T20 squad.
If nothing else, he has at least given a stunning display of his ability to play T20 cricket in India – a trait that could fetch him millions in the Indian Premier League.