After experiencing international Test cricket for the first time in the series on home soil against India, Australian all-rounder Cameron Green is preparing for an Ashes campaign with a greater sense of trust and confidence in his game.
The back-end of last year was memorable for Green, who was named in Australia’s squad for a limited overs series against India in October, which translated into being selected for the Test series. He made his One Day International debut for Australia on December 2nd 2020 at Manuka Oval – his only ODI to date – becoming the 230th Australian to play the format.
Following on from the ODI, the right-hander made a case for Test selection with a century for Australia A against India and suddenly, 10 days later, Green made his Test debut for Australia on December 17 2020 at the Adelaide Oval, receiving cap number 459.
In his Test debut, Green failed to pick up a wicket across either innings, although wasn’t used in India’s second inning as they were bowled out for 36, therefore finishing with figures for 0/15 from nine overs in total for the match. On the batting side of things, he scored 11 runs off 24 balls in the first innings and wasn’t required in the second as Australia stormed home to an eight-wicket win.
With the second Test in Melbourne, Green was involved in the runs a little more, scoring 12 (off 60) and 45 (of 146) through the two innings, with 12 overs of work in India’s first innings, finishing with 0/31.
Green succumbed to a 21-ball duck in the first innings of the third Test in Sydney, however scored his maiden Test half century in the second innings, cruising to 84 off 132, that included eight fours and four sixes as Australia put the foot down to grow a considerable lead towards declaration. In this Test also, Green bowled a combined 12 overs for 0/42.
The fourth and final Test was to be decisive match with the ledger at 1-1 following a draw at the SCG, one which India eventually prevailed. Green was again involved in the runs, gaining starts but finishing with scores of 47 (off 107) and 37 (off 90), his bowling figures ending after 11 overs, going for 0/30.
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Announced to Australia’s Test squad last month, the now-22-year-old is gearing up for another Test series, this time against England, contesting for the Ashes as Australia seek to retain the urn once again after doing so in England in 2019.
While Green now has four Test matches under his belt thanks to his debut Test summer against India, he commented on his planning towards the upcoming series – which gets underway at the Gabba on December 8 -, which largely involved a winter training regime, and the completion of the first half of the Sheffield Shield season.
“There wasn’t a whole lot different that I learnt from the last Test summer,” Green admitted to media on Wednesday.
“I think where you learn your cricket is at state level and I like to say that Australia’s got the best domestic comp in the world and probably holds you in the best stead for international cricket. Over the last few years, I feel like I’ve been in really good stead, obviously playing most weeks for WA and I feel like that’s how you best prepare for Test cricket.”
This Sheffield Shield season, in five matches and 10 innings so far, Green has scored 364 runs at an average of 40.44, his highest score of 106 off 161 coming against South Australia at Karen Rolton Oval in Adelaide. With the ball, Green has taken six wickets at an average of 48.66, with best bowling figures of 2/66 and an economy rate of 3.28.
In the corresponding Marsh One Day Cup competition, Green has scored 103 runs in five matches at an average of 25.75 and a high score of 70 against Queensland. He has taken three wickets in four innings with the ball, holding a 41.66 average, with best figures of 1/21 and an economy rate of 5.43.
Between each domestic season, Green labelled his 2021/22 season as one that invigorated a new-found faith in his game at a red-ball level, one that’s been improved by more bowling opportunities.
“Probably the main difference I’ve taken away is probably the confidence. I’m sure, [I’ll] have a bit more confidence this year, there won’t be as many nerves flying around,” Green said.
“I think heading into a Test summer last year, I may have been a bit down on confidence. Obviously the last few years I haven’t bowled that much and I had a few restrictions so I’m sure this year [playing] most games bowling will hold me in better stead this year.”
With persistent back issues now being behind him and having worked on his craft during the off-season with Western Australia’s bowling coach Matt Mason, Green is ready for more chances to perform a greater role this summer and put in better performances.
“The workloads that I’ve been put under have held me in good stead” Green said.
“Over the last four years I’ve had a stress fracture every year so it’s kind of nice to get through a summer and kind of attack the winter with Mase (Matt Mason) and work on everything.”
With the fifth Test – scheduled for Optus Stadium in Perth to start on January 14 – looking less likely to be played due to border issues for players entering Western Australia, Green, who hails from Subiaco, expressed his disappointment at not being able to play in front of his biggest supporters.
“I think it’s still 50/50 it’ll be in Perth so fingers crossed. You always want to play in front of your friends and family back at home but probably the same as last year, didn’t get to play in Perth so I’m sure it won’t be any different”, he said.
However, the chance to play against a strong English lineup of players has Green excited to continue preparations and enter a challenging Ashes series.
“It’s always great when you [play] against the best players in the world and obviously Jimmy [Andrerson] and ‘Broady’ (Stuart Broad) are the two best in England – I’m pretty sure they’re the two-highest wicket-takers so far,” he said.
“It’s always a good challenge. You want to be playing the best in the world.”
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