Allrounder admits he is not in Australia’s best side but will not be looking for a rest after the World Cup as he tries to win back his Test spot
Cameron Green says he has no issues in and out of Australia’s World Cup side’s form, but will not be looking for a break after the tournament as he has confirmed he will play Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia and the Prime Minister’s XI against Pakistan as he aims to find some red-ball form ahead of the home Test summer.
Green made a vital 47 in Australia’s victory over England in Ahmedabad on Saturday, called up by the team after Mitchell Marsh returned home due to the death of his grandfather while Glenn Maxwell was ruled out with concussion.
It was only Green’s third match at the World Cup so far. He was expected to be a part of Australia’s best XI but a dip in form leading into the tournament saw him dropped after starting the match against India. He was recalled against the Netherlands to replace the injured Marcus Stoinis but lost his place again with the return of Travis Head.
With Marsh returning to India on Sunday and Maxwell set to be out of his eight-day concussion protocol on Tuesday, Green fully expects the drinks to be running again when Australia take on Afghanistan in Mumbai.
“I’ve had no issues,” said Green after the victory against England. “I think it’s always through the right selection calls. I love every time I play for Australia but we want to put the best team out there on the field and unfortunately, I’m missing but obviously playing we some. big cricket.”
Green’s absence from the ODI side follows his omission from the Test XI during the Ashes when Marsh held his place after a fine performance at Headingley when Green was out with a hamstring issue.
Green’s decline in form throughout the year has been surprising but understandable given the extraordinary travel demands he has experienced. At the end of the World Cup, he will spend nearly six months in India, more than any other Australian player, more than two months in England.
He was in India non-stop from February 1 to May 27 for Australia’s Test and ODI tour and the IPL. He spent just two nights at home in Perth before heading to England for the World Test Championship final and the Ashes. He then traveled to South Africa at the beginning of September and returned to India again on September 18 and would not leave until the end of the tournament in Australia in mid-November.
He has been rested from Australia’s five-match T20I series against India which begins just four days after the World Cup final on November 19. But he confirmed that he will not rest at home in Perth.
He instead intends to play in WA’s Shield match against Queensland at the Gabba, starting on November 28. Green also intends to travel to Canberra shortly after that match to play in a four-day match against the touring Pakistan side. for the Prime Minister’s XI. from December 6 to 9, in a bid to put himself in the selection frame for the first Test in Perth starting on December 14.
Green said that there is no discussion on the selections regarding his Test place but he is firm that he does not want to rest.
“I plan to play the Shield game in Brisbane and then we have a PM’s XI game … so not much rest to be fair,” Green said. “Just keep grinding and keep playing cricket.”
Despite the obvious concerns about his workload and having spent nearly nine months overseas this year, Green is adamant that he wants to continue playing as much as he can to continue to improve.
“I think it’s really tough. You want to play as much as you can for Australia and unfortunately, the schedule this year is pretty crowded,” Green said. “But I absolutely love playing for my country and I think there will be a bit of a gap maybe next year. It’s been a long 18 months.
“Maybe you get a little complacent if you’re in the team all the time. You have to keep reminding yourself that you’re playing for Australia, and you have to perform all the time. Every time you miss, you want always improve and that’s what we want to do. So hopefully there will be some improvements along the way.”
Although he is not in the first-choice XI, Green is likely to remain in the Australian team throughout the summer for five home Tests against Pakistan and the West Indies as well as three ODIs and three T20Is against the West Indies in February. At the end of February Australia head to New Zealand for three T20Is and two Tests before the start of the IPL where he will return for his second season with the Mumbai Indians.
The IPL will run straight through the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States in June before a break finally comes in July of 2024. But Green has no regrets about adding the IPL to his grueling schedule.
“One of the best things that happened to me was being a part of the IPL and the confidence I got from that was huge,” Green said. “I really felt it in the Ashes series, how I felt about the group and about my cricket as well.
“It’s been a great year so far. It’s been long, challenging. But when I look at where I was at the beginning of the year until now, I’ve really grown as a cricketer and as a person.”
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo