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The Ashes: Ian Bell on Cameron Green as Australia’s ‘key ingredient’

Former Test cricketer Ryan Harris believes Cameron Green is the right man to hold the crucial all-rounder role Shane Watson played for Australia over a decade-long stint in the baggy green.

Green, who has played just seven Tests to date, has started to repay the faith of selectors who stuck by him for Australia’s successful retention of the Ashes.

While many regarded the 22-year-old primarily as a batter who bowled, his performances with the ball have been a highlight against England’s batting line up.

“When ‘Watto’ retired, we had that little bit of a gap there and we didn’t quite find that genuine all-rounder – Greeny’s definitely that,” Harris told bet365’s Inside Edge.

“We’re just starting to see the Cameron Green that I’ve seen in the past with the ball.

“He started his Test match career coming off a couple of bad back injuries.

“I was lucky enough to catch up with him before the first Test in Brisbane and I asked him how he was going. He said it was the first time he was bowling fit and not bowling to get fit. Now he’s running in, he’s not worried about his back, and bowling it through to the keeper and trying to get guys out.”

In the opening three Tests, Green has taken seven wickets at an average of 11, while he’s averaged just over 17 with the bat.
Standing at 1.98m and being able to bowl deliveries at over 140km/h, Green has meant the Australian bowling attack hasn’t been as reliant on the ‘Big Three’ in Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

He hasn’t been just cleaning up the England tail either. Twice he’s taken the key wickets of Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

Former England star Ian Bell believed Green’s all-rounder qualities would prove handy on overseas tours.

“For me, Cameron Green really looks like he’s going to help the Australian side and the balance of the team,” Bell said.

“When you talk about winning away from home, going to India, he could be an opening bowler and then you can play an extra spinner. You can get the balance of a team much better when you’ve a genuine all-rounder.

“I actually thought he was more of a batsman who bowled, but his bowling in this series, his speeds have been up in the 140s (km/h), he looks like he could be the real deal of a bowler. His batting is taking a little bit more time at this level, but he looks like someone over the next 10 years who can be the key ingredient for Australia winning home and away.”

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Green hasn’t been the only bowler to stand up during the series, with replacements Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Scott Boland also shining.

Boland’s six wickets for seven runs at the MCG will go down as one of the greatest Ashes debuts of all time.

“The impact that the depth (of the bowling attack) had on the games, that sort of shocked me a little bit,” Harris admitted.
“The way they executed the plans, held lines and lengths, was outstanding.”

Bell said of Boland’s performance: “Whether you’re English or Australian watching that, and seeing how a guy at 32 years of age, who’s worked so hard to get to this point, it would take a real hardcore English fan, not to look at that and say that’s incredible.”

Hear from Ian Bell and Ryan Harris throughout the Ashes series on the bet365 official Social Media channels.

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