The rise and rise of Cameron Green in world cricket has been spectacular, and it is equally brilliant watching him in action, both with the bat and with the ball in hand. The star Australian all-rounder was acquired by the Mumbai Indians at this year’s auction for 17.5 crores, and although he has taken some time to get his groove into the league, he is now justifying the big bucks with his on-field performances.
What makes Green’s success extraordinary is not his range of skills in all three facets of the game, nor the adaptability he shows across formats. It is his versatility to play different roles in the same kind of game and yet deliver success for his team time and time again.
In the Big Bash League, while plying his trade for the Perth Scorchers, he was more of a finisher than a designated batter, aside from giving a few overs with the ball upfront. But when he debuted for Australia in T20Is in India, he was tasked with opening the batting alongside Finch. He showcased his ultra-aggressive batting, notching up two fifties in 3 matches at an impressive strike rate of 214.55.
In the ODIs, he was usually given the finishing duties in absence of the mainstays and used more as a bowler particularly in the early phases. In the first game against Zimbabwe in August 2022, he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs, proving himself more than just a tweaker. In the series against NZ that followed, he stitched together a crucial stand with wicketkeeper Alex Carey to resurrect his side and lead them to victory, remaining unbeaten on 89. He has since begun batting in the middle order and has become a proper fifth bowler in the white-ball formats. His long reach has also seen him plucking some difficult catches at the boundary ropes, often game-defining.
So it was little surprise that the Mumbai-based franchise splurged the money for the all-rounder’s services. He was given the role to play at number three, where he struggled initially with scores of 5 and 12, and was expensive with the ball.
In the outing against DC, however, he was sent in at number six, to finish off a tight game and earn MI their first win of the season. He played a similar role in the game against KKR, but faced just one ball as MI had already cruised to a victory. He was also providing his team with incisions into the opponent’s batting, particularly because he was given responsibility in absence of Bumrah and Archer.
But against SRH in Hyderabad, he was again given the responsibility to bat at number three and see out the tricky middle overs phase where the ball was gripping and turning. He was resolute in his innings, changed gears towards the death, scoring 64* off 40 balls, and helped MI post a big total on a difficult wicket. On Saturday, though, his chance at number three came in the powerplay itself, and so he played positively before allowing others to attack and himself anchoring from one end. Once Rohit was gone, he started his counter-attack and reached his second consecutive fifty, his 67 off 45 almost enough to pull off a huge run-chase.
In all these instances of Green stepping up for his team in different roles, the common factor has been pressure situations. Whenever the heat comes on, Green responds with a superlative performance and that is why he is so successful in various roles in various situations. Green is a big match player who puts his hand up in crunch moments and it is expected that he will continue rich vein of form to deliver more such performances in all facets of the game.