Australia vs South Africa: Cameron Green caused a stir when he batted through the pain against South Africa
In more ways than one, Cameron Green was critical to Australia gaining a stranglehold of things in the Boxing Day Test against Australia
Not only did he take five wickets in the first innings as South Africa were bundled out relatively cheaply, but he also scored a half-century when Australia were batting.
But that fifty came at great personal pain to Green – he had to retire hurt after a finger injury but came back to bat and gutted through the pain.
It's all the more impressive when you realise that he not only batted through any injury, but it was a dislocated finger that had caused him to retire hurt for a while.
Nevertheless, he was praised by all and sundry for his willingness to contribute to the team's cause and his role in the innings was vital.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">JUST IN: Cameron Green has a small fracture of his right index finger. Will bat again at the MCG but won't bowl.<br><br>Ruled out of Sydney Test as he looks to recover for India tour<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AUSvSA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AUSvSA</a> <a href="https://t.co/6TRJQyks4c">pic.twitter.com/6TRJQyks4c</a></p>— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNcricinfo/status/1607865984484007936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 27, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Afterwards, he admitted to being in pain but added that being injured made it easier to bat because there were only so many shots he could attempt to play.
"You try to not show the pain straightaway. I marked my guard again and walked a couple of steps, and I was like 'I reckon my finger is out of place here'. I checked on it and it looked a little bit inverted is the only way I can explain it. It already had a big cut in it, then I got the bad news after the scan," said Green.
"There are only a few shots you can play (after that kind of injury) and everything apart from that you have to defend. It's a funny thing when you're in that mindset, you're actually really clear on what you have to do," he added.
Green is a talented cricketer, but this was arguably one of the first times in his young career that he's had to show this kind of guts when on the field.
It came at a cost because it is now known that he will be missing the final Test of the series against Sydney due to this injury.
But it takes absolutely nothing away from the knock he played and only further cemented his spot in the team – even if, by his admission, he was gutted to know he'd not be in the XI.
His focus is already on the next frontier – India and the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy that will be contested early in 2023.
"It's a great (Australian dressing room) environment to be a part of so I'm definitely going to miss it (in the Sydney Test). I'm going to do as much as I can to get it right and try to go to India," said Green.
"A lot of people talk about the tour to India, how tough it is mentally and physically. It's going to be a massive tour for us. We're as best prepared as we're ever going to be, so (I'm) looking forward to it."
Given the kind of rise he's had lately, India had better watch out for what Green can do come the Test series.