The phenomenal rise of all-rounder Cameron Green is a typical cautionary tale. So let’s all take a calming breath, and offer him the captaincy.
After a patient blooding of almost a month, the time has finally arrived for selectors to bestow Green his childhood dream by throwing him to the wolves, i.e. Australia.
The exciting rookie has done enough to prove he is this nation’s next ten-year-career-all-rounder, exhibiting the skill and mental application required to withstand a decade of our unassailable standards.
Put simply, Green is the Shane Watson we have always craved since Watson retired and we realised we took Watson for granted – and after a period of deep introspection, Australia is ready to take for granted again.
Green has staked a claim by delivering where it matters most- by banging down the door with hyperbolic labels such as ‘the Next Ben Stokes, Don Bradman and Dennis Lillee combined’, and a stack of other outrageous underestimations.
In a bonus, he has easily met the supplementary criteria for national selection by competently demonstrating he bats, bowls, and isn’t Joe Burns.
Green rocketed into calculations for the first Test after a breakout performance in this week’s practice match against India, a display that completed his apprenticeship as an Australian prodigy after one bumper season of Shield, half a season of hype, and a stress fracture.
Now he stands on the cusp of being the biggest breakout star of the summer, perhaps even bigger than Virat Kohli’s unborn kid.
It must be acknowledged Australia has walked this impetuous path many times in the past – lumping our wunderkinds with weighty expectation to varying degrees of disappointment – but this time it’s different.
While a handful of conservative types are stressing caution, citing a logjam of incumbents and the graveyard of predecessors, these people have obviously not seen how high Tim Paine has to leap to take his effort ball, or his Pantene hair.
Hence, we are left with no choice.
And besides, there are numerous options to make way. Will Pucovski has multiple double-hundreds, while Travis Head and Matt Wade have recently guided Australia in various leadership roles, all credentials that pale in comparison to the excitement of a unicorn all-rounder.
But of greatest note, Green should be selected because we’ve learnt from our sins of the past. We as a nation have changed, plus he is on workload restrictions, which shouldn’t present any issues in the Test arena.
And if burdening a 21-year-old with our unhealthy demands doesn’t work out, we’ve got the framework in place to ensure he lands on his feet with a career going viral in club cricket.
While some may say throwing a raw youngster to the top dogs of India in the furnace of Test cricket is utter madness, at the end of the day it’s better than marooning him to rot in the alternative: Big Bash. If anything, it’s a duty of care thing.
But the biggest question about Green remains: can the furnace of Test cricket handle the hottest youngster in the game?
There is only one way to find out: by strategically evaluating conditions and team balance, and pitchforking him in to the team at all costs. We don’t care who has to make way – we’re in such a lather right now, we’d dump a Chappell without a phone call.
Australia needs to act, not only to blood this raw-boned six-footer from Subiaco-Floreat for the betterment of this nation’s cricketing ego, but to nail him down before he’s robbed from us by the AFL.