Australian cricket icon Greg Chappell has lavished praise upon emerging West Australian Cameron Green, describing him as the best batting talent since Ricky Ponting. Green is yet to play for Australia in any format, but Chappell believes the 21-year-old can spearhead the country’s Ashes campaign next year.
Being compared to Ponting, recognised as arguably the best homegrown batsman since Don Bradman, is huge praise. Ponting dealt with huge expectations as a prodigious youngster early in his career before becoming Australia’s all-time leading Test run-scorer.
“This kid can play – he’s a serious talent. I think he’s the best batting talent I’ve seen since Ricky Ponting,” Chappell told SEN. “He’s got something special in that he’s 6ft 7in tall, we haven’t seen anyone of that size dominate from a batting point of view. And the kid can bowl, so it’s a real challenge.”
Being so tall and able to bowl long spells, Chappell has urged coaches against wearing Green’s young body down before he is ready. Green has played 17 first-class matches for WA, averaging 52.23 and scoring four centuries, while he has already claimed two five-wicket hauls with best figures of 6-30.
“He’s already broken down once, so we’ve just got to be so careful because batting talent like this doesn’t come along very often,” Chappell said. “He’s a top-six batsman, he thinks of himself as a batsman; bowling is a bonus.”
Chappell is excited about seeing Green feature in a batting line-up with stars David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.
“Post Smith he’s batting three or four, and bowling 10 or 12 overs an innings max,” Chappell said. “He can win us the next Ashes if he gets a little experience between now and then. It’s exciting and we all get excited about this kind of talent. You don’t see this stuff very often.”