Cameron Green and the ghost of Keith Miller

Australia has had the most remarkable list of players over recent generations, but no great all-rounder.

Cameron Green is just a good young prospect. But because of his all-round talents, he's entered this weird repressed cricket culture from Australia.  No cricket nation has been more thirsty for an all-rounder than them. For some of us (me) it's been an obsession.  And Green is the current most likely.

I have done a video on Australian all-rounder history, from bowling hungry captains through to Shane Watson.

When Miller passed away, I was working near Melbourne's centre, and there was a state funeral held at St Paul's Cathedral. Instead of having lunch, I walked across town during my break and headed up to the church's steps.

I wasn't sure if you could just walk in, or how a state funeral worked. But when I got near the doors, I couldn't go in. There was a complete lack of worth that came over me, like I didn't have the right to pay my respects.

But Miller wasn't talked about as someone who just played cricket in my childhood, there was something more about him to us as a family. His service, his attitude, and his cricket made him a sacred figure in our house.

My grandfather told a story of climbing a fence to watch Bradman make a duck at the MCG. But his favourite player was Keith Miller. My father talked of Miller a lot, despite the fact he was nine when Miller retired. My mother had grown up not far from where Miller had. He was one of the few cricketers my nan ever mentioned.

When I started reading cricket books, it was Miller's story that always stood out. His personality, talent and exploits were so captivating to me. I remember when the Keith Miller statue was put up at the MCG, and one day I came out of an exit and was beneath it for the first time.  It froze me, I just stared for the longest time, he felt like some kind of superhero even in statue form.

All this came out when I stood on those church steps.

When it comes to our family, it's clear that we probably had the Miller thing more than others. But there were many people - including much of the UK - who felt that way about Miller.

It was his personality, looks, and story that made him one of the most famous - and infamous - cricketers with people not in love with the sport.  It was his game that elevated him for cricket fans.  He was just an extraordinary all-round talent. To compare him to modern-day players he'd be Ben Stokes batting with Dale Steyn's bowling.

In Test cricket right now we have Stokes, Jason Holder, Ravi Jadeja and Shakib al Hasan. Four incredible all rounders, who if they keep playing at this level have a chance of being some of the greatest all-rounders we've had. But none will eclipse Miller's output, or probably even get close.

And Australia hasn't even an allrounder of their level since 1964.

That is what I kept thinking about when Cameron Green was being told he could be the next great Australian all-rounder. The absurdity of trying to live up to what Miller was, while at the same time it all being so long ago there are not many eyewitnesses left.

But what is genuinely remarkable is that a country that produced all-rounders quite regularly, finally near perfected one, and straight after went into the most incredible drought.

And there's obviously quite a few reasons. Possibly as the game gets more professional, we might see fewer all-rounders as players specialise more. And Australia was the first truly professional cricket nation.

Even before cricket went professional, Australian sport had already started to go pro. And that means many young athletes had better financial offers. If you look at Sobers, Imran, Miller, Kapil and Botham, they were incredible athletes. Botham and Miller both played football, Sobers, Kapil and Imran were stunning specimens as well. Today you can see that in Jadeja and Stokes.  It's possible that great Australian all-rounders are playing centre half-forward for the Bulldogs or trying out for Olympic high jump. Alex Keath and Mitch Marsh were two players CA courted to keep them away from the Australian Football League, they're both all-rounders.

Also, Australia were quite good for 70 years. They had an off decade in the 80s, and a few slip-ups along the way, but they were an incredible cricket team. Able to regularly find some of the best batsmen, keepers and bowlers in the world. It's not that they didn't need an all rounder - though from 95-07 you could argue they didn't - it's that they perhaps didn't need to gamble like other teams.

As a cricket culture, there is probably more of an idea that you pick your best eleven consisting of the strongest six batsmen, four most potent bowlers and the highest quality gloveman. But that has not always been adhered to. There were better keepers than Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Wade. Superior number sixes than Marcus North and Andrew Symonds. While perhaps having so many decent number eights from their first choice bowlers made that part easier.

But it's still remarkable that a cricket culture that can produce overlapping batting champions Greg Chapell, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Steve Smith like a conveyor belt hasn't been able to find one high-end all-rounder.  There should be at least one.  Right?

I mean it's odd, frustrating, and a little bizarre. And then someone like Green turns up, and all that hope and longing come back.  And all he needs to do to sate the Australian thirst is to be one of the best all-rounders who has played the game.

And he could be a top-class batsman and quality option with the ball, but it’s doubtful he’ll be anything like Keith Miller. Green can walk up the church stairs, but it would take something remarkable to enter the building.