All-rounder Cameron Green is set to miss a significant portion of Australia’s Cricket World Cup preparations after being struck on the head by a ball from South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada during the first one-day international on Thursday.
An Australia team spokesperson confirmed that Green will undergo an eight-day concussion protocol, during which he will be closely monitored by the team’s medical staff. His availability for the World Cup will likely be impacted, and he may not return until the fifth and final match against South Africa in Johannesburg on September 17.
This injury adds to a growing list of concerns for Australia, with the World Cup in India scheduled to begin on October 5, less than a month away. It also creates an opportunity for Marnus Labuschagne to stake his claim for a spot in the World Cup squad if a vacancy arises.
Labuschagne played a crucial role as a concussion substitute for Green in the first ODI, earning the man-of-the-match award for his unbeaten 80, which helped Australia secure an improbable three-wicket win. He came to bat with Australia struggling at 72 for five, ultimately chasing down South Africa’s total of 222 on a challenging pitch.
Injuries have already affected Australia’s World Cup preparations, with several key players missing the South African tour due to various injuries. Captain Pat Cummins is recovering from a wrist injury, while Glenn Maxwell (ankle), Mitchell Starc (groin), and Steve Smith (wrist) are also sidelined.
Australia still has a three-match one-day series in India before the World Cup, providing an opportunity for injured players to prove their fitness.