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Australia dealt huge blow with Test star set to miss opener against India


Cameron Green’s bold bid to play in Australia’s first Test in India is all but over with the all-rounder still managing his recovery from a broken finger.

The 23-year-old remained on light duties during Australia’s training session at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium on Tuesday.

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Green bowled briefly on a centre wicket pitch but still appeared to be struggling after suffering a nasty broken finger during the Boxing Day Test.

Australia coach Andrew McDonald last week raised the possibility of Green slotting in at No.6 and not bowling during the Border-Gavaskar series opener.

However, Australia vice-captain Steve Smith all but admitted Green’s hopes of featuring in Nagpur were over.

Australia have suffered another blow ahead of the India Test with Cameron Green set to be ruled out. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

“I don’t think he’s even faced fast-bowling yet, so I dare say he won’t be playing, but who knows,” Smith said on Tuesday.

“I don’t even know what he’s done (at training), I was sort of focusing on my work.

“We’ll wait and see but it’s unlikely I think.”

With Green set to be ruled out, Matt Renshaw could retain his place at No.6 after replacing him for the New Year’s match against South Africa at the SCG.

Renshaw, who was David Warner’s opening partner on Australia’s last tour to India in 2017, went more than four years before adding to his 11 Tests.

Victorian Peter Handscomb, who also played all four Tests in India six years ago, is also an option to bat at No.6.

The right-handed Handscomb could be brought in to balance the batting line-up.

If Renshaw plays, five of Australia’s top-seven batters will be left-handers.

Green’s absence is a further blow to Australia’s pace stocks, with Mitchell Starc (broken finger) and Josh Hazlewood (achilles) – who have taken 526 Test wickets between them – not playing in Nagpur.

Scott Boland will almost certainly come in for his first Test outside of Australia, while speedster Lance Morris could be handed a dream debut as the only other quick outside of skipper Pat Cummins in the 18-man squad.

Starc, Hazlewood and Green will all be racing the clock to be available for the second Test in Delhi, with just three days in between matches.

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Source: 7News