Green’s big year is here, and there’s more to come

 – Gudstory

Green’s big year is here, and there’s more to come – Gudstory

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It’s not easy being Cameron Greene. The Australian star lost his place in the ODI squad in just the second match of the World Cup, less than three months after losing his place in the Test squad for the final match of the Ashes series.

It’s far from doom and gloom for a player as young and talented as Green. He could play well in Australia’s next World Cup match against Sri Lanka given the schedule and Marcus Stoinis’ poor fitness. Stoinis has been unavailable for Australia’s last five matches, including the two warm-up matches, due to a hamstring problem and has not played in back-to-back internationals this year. If Green regains his place, he could still make an impact for Australia in the tournament.

But it is worth noting how Green went from being an almost irreplaceable player in all three Australian teams at the start of the year, and a $3 million man in the Indian Premier League, to being left out of the squad for the crucial Ashes Test. The second match in the World Cup.

Green is clearly physically and mentally exhausted. No player in Australia’s World Cup squad has spent more time away from home this year than Green. Since the Australian Test squad left for India on January 31, Green has spent just one month in bed. That’s the price of being an international all-rounder in three formats, and it’s something Green is experiencing for the first time during this ongoing period.

But for a cricketer whose entire career has been carefully planned in terms of when to play, when to train and when to rest, adding the Indian Premier League to his schedule in a year in which Australia have played Test tours of India and England, a World Test Championship final, and an away World Cup feels like… A workload too great for even his broad shoulders to bear.

It has long been expected within the Australian camp that this would be a likely outcome. But this is also partly of their own making. It is unlikely that Green would have been on the IPL radar had he not played in the oddly scheduled three-match T20I series in India at this time last year when both David Warner and Mitchell Marsh were rested.

No one could begrudge him entering the ensuing auction given his two hot half-centuries in that series, and no one in their right mind could have asked him to part with the life-changing A$3.15 million to rest during April and May and set up the trading post Global. The final, the Ashes and the World Cup are his priority.

However, what has happened since then has served as a valuable lesson in workload management. Between February and May, he spent four consecutive months in India without returning home, and then spent just two nights at home in Perth between the end of the Indian Premier League and the start of the tour of England.

Only three other Australian players from the IPL have gone on a Test tour of England. During the same four-month period, Warner spent three weeks at home in late February and early March after fracturing his elbow in the second Test in Delhi. Josh Hazlewood is yet to play a single match for India after he returned home after the second Test in Delhi and is only back midway through the IPL. Marsh was not part of the Test tour to India and returned home to Western Australia for a week in mid-April during the IPL to get married.

Green, who has been very slow when it comes to switching between formats, then struggled on his first tour of England having never played there before at any level. His first match in England was the WTC final against India, where most of India’s IPL players also struggled.

Green himself has never been in the Ashes with either bat or ball. A hamstring tear kept him out of the third Test at Headingley where Marsh stepped in and starred. He returned to Old Trafford but was dropped for the first time in his Test career at The Oval.

He then spent four weeks at home, resting from the T20I series against South Africa, before returning for the ODIs. But after making the most of his break by barely picking up the bat, he was hit in the head with the second ball he faced in South Africa and missed the next three matches due to concussion.

Having been scheduled to bat at No. 4 in the ODI side with the aim of playing a role higher up the order in the World Cup, Green returned to find himself without a defined role and was forced to play as a finisher and struggled for form and rhythm.

Now he finds himself out of the ODI squad, replaced by Stoinis who has not made an ODI half-century since March 2019 and has averaged 16.80 across 32 innings in that time, not to mention his injury problems.

The challenge for Green is how to regain some fitness both on the bench and in high-pressure World Cup matches, and where he can rest given Australia’s post-tournament schedule.

Australia have a five-match T20I series in India immediately after the World Cup and are likely to be rested from it. But if he wants to regain his place in the Test team, he may want to play in Western Australia’s final Sheffield Shield match before the Super League break in late November or the premiership match against Pakistan, both of which he is not in the squad for. Main country.

Australia will then play five Tests between mid-December and late January. Even if Marsh remains the current Test manager, Green is likely to travel with the team given Marsh’s injury concerns. He caught his ankle during the Ashes and has barely bowled in limited-overs matches since. Australia then tour New Zealand in February and March before the Indian Premier League begins again. The T20 World Cup follows in June next year.

It is a never-ending vicious cycle where there is nowhere to leave.

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo


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