IPL 2023: Cameron Green looks set to be an ace in the MI pack

After suffering from acute batting woes and ending up last in 2022, the MI camp tried to do some course correction by going all out for a batting allrounder like Green

Cameron Green (Photo Courtesy: @sachin_rt/Twitter)
Cameron Green (Photo Courtesy: @sachin_rt/Twitter)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

When Mumbai Indians broke the bank in the mini auction last December to win the intense bidding war for Australia’s Cameron Green for Rs 17.5 crores ($ US 2.17 million), it naturally raised a few eyebrows. The highly rated allrounder from Western Australia however showed he was worth every penny with his blazing century, off 47 balls, in the must-win game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

It was a brutal assault on part of Green (eight fours & as many sixes) on the batting friendly strip at the Wankhede, though he may find the conditions much more challenging in the remaining matches in Chennai and possibly Ahmedabad. Lucknow Super Giants, whom the five-time champions take on in the Eliminator on Wednesday, have a few canny spinners in skipper Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi and Green will have to be a bit patient in taking them down.

After suffering from acute batting woes and ending up last in 2022, the MI camp tried to do some course correction by going all out for a batting allrounder like Green. Their decision to let go Hardik Pandya along with the dipping form of the long-serving Kieron Pollard meant they badly needed someone like Green— who has shown the potential to form a part of Mumbai’s leadership group in the years to come.

Green, who is already being hailed as the next Shane Watson for his proficiency in all three formats, has an aggregate of 381 runs, with a strike-rate of 159.41, and six wickets from the league stage. ‘’MI invested big money in Green and the big hitter didn’t disappoint. He’s potential matchwinner for MI and should be batting at No.3 in the coming games because pitches in Chennai and Ahmedabad will not be easy to bat like Wankhede,’’ TV pundit Irfan Pathan told the broadcasters on Sunday.    

Like most Australians who are backfoot players, Green also enjoys the ball coming on to the bat but against Sunrisers, he revealed and his captain almost went for a role reversal.  ‘’Just being at the other end with Rohit, I was trying to smack the spinners and he was batting beautifully against the pace bowlers,” Green said.

Asked if the hefty price tag had been any kind of pressure for him, Green said: ‘’The whole MI set-up has been awesome. As soon as I got here, there’s been no pressure (of the price tag) from them. So, I could go out and play with as much intent as I can.”

The impact Green has created in international cricket in less than two years had been a key factor in inviting comparisons between him and Watson. His century and marathon partnership with Usman Khwaja in the Ahmedabad Test earlier this year had already come in for a lot of praise.

 Replying to a question, Green felt that spending nearly last four months in India, first for international duty and then IPL, had been extremely rewarding.

"Getting exposed any time to sub-continent conditions - as an Australian you are not really used to how low the ball skids at times, how much it spins at times - any experience you get over here is so valuable for us who bat in pretty different conditions," he added.

Wednesday’s match

IPL Eliminator

Lucknow Super Giants vs Mumbai Indians

Chennai, 7 pm. 

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