Australian prodigy Cameron Green has claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket, achieving the feat against Zimbabwe in the first ODI at Riverway Stadium.
The 23-year-old finished with 5/33 from nine overs in Townsville, tearing through Zimbabwe’s lower-order to help roll the visitors for 200 on Sunday.
It was also his first five-wicket haul in List A cricket — his previous best was 3/44 against the NSW Blues in September 2017.
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Green had effectively replaced Test captain Pat Cummins in the ODI team for Australia’s season opener in Townsville, joining a plethora of all-rounders in the starting XI.
And the West Australian took advantage of the bouncy deck, removing Zimbabwe powerhouse Sikandar Raza for five before steaming through the tail.
All five of Green’s wickets were caught in the outfield, with Zimbabwe’s batters hunting for quick runs and struggling to cope with the tall all-rounder’s added pace and bounce.
“With Cameron Green, that five wickets he took – yes it was a little game in Townsville against Zimbabwe – but we are seeing the emergence of a tremendously significant player there,” NewsCorp reporter Robert Craddock told SEN Whateley on Monday morning.
“He’s just gold, we’ve been looking for an all-rounder for 30 or 40 years like this, he’s good enough to be a specialist bowler and a specialist batsman and they are so rare. They’re the rarest commodity in cricket history.
“He has the ability to reshape Australian cricket in his own self-effacing modest, don’t look at me sort of way.”
Before the series opener in Queensland, Green had underwhelming career figures of 1/169 in seven one-day internationals.
Best ODI bowling figures by an Australian against Zimbabwe
5/22 — Brad Williams at Sydney, Jan 2004
5/32 — Jason Gillespie at Harare, May 2004
5/33 — Cameron Green at Townsville, Aug 2022
“There’s a lot of potential there, we notice it in the change rooms as we watch him go about his business,” Australian teammate Glenn Maxwell said.
“You face him at training, you watch him bat … the day before I arrived the boys were talking about how he batted in the centre wicket on a spicy pitch that was doing a bit of everything.
“All the rest of the top order said they nicked and nudged it around while he went in there and started smacking them and was pretty brutal on some of our bowlers.
“He’s got a lot of potential and a lot of skill — talent — and it helps being six foot ten or whatever he is. He’s enormous, he bowls a heavy ball, bats beautifully and was probably the best move in the field in that XI today.
“It’s an exciting package when you look at it, but you don’t want to overburden him right now.
“He’s got a lot of cricket ahead of him, we don’t want to burn him out at this stage of his career.”
Although Green walked away with a bag of wickets, leg-spinner Adam Zampa was undeniably the pick of the Australian bowlers on Sunday, finishing with 3/57 from his 10 overs.
The talented tweaker, who missed the recent white-ball tour of Sri Lanka due to the birth of his first child, dismissed Zimbabwe opener Tadiwanashe Marumani (45 off 61 balls) and No. 3 batter Wessly Madhevere (72 off balls) to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs.
Since the start of 2020, Zampa has taken 41 ODI wickets at 23.60 to cement his status as Australia’s best white-ball spinner.
After a promising start, Zimbabwe lost 6/15 in a dire collapse at the death to be bowled out in the 48th over.
“The wheels fell off at the end,” former Zimbabwe seamer Ed Rainsford confessed on Fox Cricket.
Earlier, Australian superstar Steve Smith pulled off a stunning outfield catch to remove Tony Munyonga, diving towards the boundary rope and catching the Kookaburra over his shoulder.