Five times Green had fallen between 74 and 84 in his embryonic testing career, but shortly after lunch on the second day in Ahmedabad – after a somewhat awkward pause he was at 95 – he was able to celebrate a major milestone.
“You feel more like a test cricketer when you have that monkey off your back, so it’s nice to tick that off in a way,” he said. “It’s so special.”
“I think he’s a fantastic player,” said Ashwin. “Just the resources for a person his size, nice levers, good hitting feel, can bowl and hit the deck really well, moves pretty well in the field. These are once in a generation cricketers you’re talking about.
“I played an exhibition match against him at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney [on the 2020-21 tour]. From then on I’ve seen him bat, how well he moves out, how well he crosses the field, how he sweeps the ball when he comes to the subcontinent. As a bowler it is my duty to keep an eye on all these things and also make a plan to make him uncomfortable.”
It was some early feedback from Khawaja that made Green drive so commandingly throughout his innings as he took a particularly heavy toll on India’s two quicks.
“I think if I was talking to Uzzy it was probably the ball coming back, which could get in the way of your leg and that could be the way out,” Green said. “If you have an experienced principal on the other end, you can have these really in-depth conversations and he’ll give you unreal information back.
“So addressed him quite early on, he said he recommends hitting a leg stump and using your bat and playing any ball whether it’s a swing or a swing.
“He’s an experienced head who has been playing Test cricket for over 10 years, he’s so valuable to guys like myself and some of the young lads on the team the way he tackles it.”
After a five-wicket first haul against South Africa at the MCG, which saw him suffer a broken finger in the match, this century is another early highlight in a career that continues to move upwards, but Green was keen to keep things in perspective .
“It’s my 20th Test so I’ve had a good chance to see the ups and downs of Test cricket, to see it for what it is,” he said. “It’s an incredibly difficult game, and when you get moments like that you really cherish them. I’ve seen how difficult Test Cricket is and I love every second of it.”