Australia coach Andrew McDonald has lauded young allrounder Cameron Green's performances in the T20I series against India. Even though Australia lost the series, Green stood tall with two impressive fifties at the top of the order in David Warner's absence. Having played only one T20I before the series, the 23-year-old effortlessly delivered in a new role by finishing the series with a strike rate over 200.
"I've asked him to show great intent at the top of the order and everything that we're seeing so far shows that he's doing that," McDonald said, after the final T20I in Hyderabad. "It's probably opportunistic, the way that he's coming in with the opening position with obviously Davey Warner not being here and a couple of other players in our World Cup 15. We thought he had the skill when we did our strategy before we came over here.
"And he's taken on some of the best bowlers in world cricket. You could argue Jasprit [Bumrah] is one of the best T20 bowlers ever. So to be able to do that, work your way through that situation again tonight, and do it two out of three times is very impressive and bodes well."
McDonald is now confident that Australia have depth in their squad in case any key player fails to recover from an injury. Allrounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were left at home in order to nurse minor injuries. Green, who isn't present in Australia's 15-man squad for their title defence, has shown enough quality now to come in and step up if needed. "It's fortuitous that some of the guys got the opportunity here," McDonald said. "We got a couple of injuries which are concerning leading into a World Cup. You don't like to see some of your mainstay players out of the team leading in but we feel as though we've got some good options in depth."
While admitting that his side is keen on improving their showing with the ball at the death, McDonald pointed out that the defending champions will be bolstered by the return of Mitchell Starc while also acknowledging that the conditions in Australia will be different. "There was really no place to hide for bowlers and particularly at the death coming up against Hardik [Pandya]," McDonald noted. "But I think we worked our way through some plans. We saw some good results with some of the plans that we implemented that may be able to transition to the World Cup.
"The connection between here and Australia might slightly differ with a little bit more bounce, so some different tactics. Mitchell Starc clearly comes back into the picture, he's been one of our best death bowlers, so we feel like we'll get reinforcements there. But I think most death bowling attacks are under the pump with the high skills of the batters these days. Are we keen to get better at death bowling? The answer to that is yes. But we just encourage our guys to make good decisions, execute, and see what happens."
The Australian coach also reserved praise for the opposition, especially for Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav. While Axar has been impressive with the ball in Ravindra Jadeja's absence, Suryakumar came up with a man of the match display in the final T20I. "Axar, in particular, had an outstanding series," McDonald said. "With Jaddu out everyone thought that it might become a bit of a weakness for India, but they've found another one again, which tends to happen. Suryakumar Yadav was outstanding today and he's gonna be dangerous in the World Cup but he showed what he can do."