Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting feels tall all-rounder Cameron Greene could have scored his maiden Test century by smashing 74 off 109 balls in the fifth Ashes Test at the Bellerive Oval here on Friday evening.
After a string of forgettable scores, Green finally scored 74 in the second innings of the drawn Fourth Test in Sydney and 74 in the first innings of the ongoing Test here as Australia finished 303 in 75.4 overs on Day 2. Of. on Saturday.
Ponting felt the 23-year-old’s half-century was here on the first day as Australia rolled to 12/3 in the opening hour on Friday, which could be the defining match of the match. Green and Travis Head (101) put on a 121-run fifth-wicket partnership to take the hosts to a respectable total.
“He had England right where he wanted him today (Friday),” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “Flat (pitch), a bowler down, 50 over old ball, lights on and the ball skidding beautifully, no quality spinner. All this was waiting for him today, but it (century) is not going to go away. If He takes the same mental approach every innings he goes on, whether he has scored earlier in the game or not (he will do well).
“It’s a big challenge for him. It doesn’t matter what happened last week or two before the Test match, it’s about fixing the mindset for the next challenge you face. That’s what will learn. To a lot of people.” It takes a long time to learn but he seems to be learning very quickly,” Ponting said.
While Greene failed to make an impact with the bat in the first four Ashes Tests, he became a threat to take a legitimate wicket at the top level, taking nine wickets each after England captain Joe Root and all-rounder Ben Stokes were removed twice. With all but one of the top-order batsmen at 15.44.
Green, averaging over 50 in the Sheffield Shield, was colorless with the bat in the first three Tests against England, being dismissed twice for 0 and 2 in his first eight balls of the series. He could only manage 57 runs in his first five innings at an average of 14.25.
Ponting suggested that the tall right-handed batsman should raise his stance to make his pre-delivery pace more effective and go on the backfoot to score runs.
Ponting said, “Today (Friday) the intention to hit the ball and strike off was really more than defensive (approach), ‘to make sure I got through my first 20 or 30 balls. And don’t really look to score’,” Ponting said. “I’ve said over the past few weeks that once we start seeing him play well on the front and back foot, he’ll really be a handful to bowl to and we saw that today.
“He hit a cover drive off Stuart Broad which was about seven meters long. You think seven meters is short, but he stood on top of the hoop and punched him through cover. Earlier, (England pacer) Mark Wood was one of the few that he played with a back leg that was about a meter and a half short, but he stood tall and punched it through cover. The art of batting is bridging the margin of error for bowlers at length. And especially if you’re that tall (199cm), you have a better chance of doing that,” Ponting said.