All-rounder Cameron Green says he’ll head into the Australian Test summer with no bowling workloads as he prepares to tick off a major personal milestone against the West Indies in Perth.
The first Test of the series starts on Wednesday and will be Green’s first in his home state after 14 matches across Australia and the rest of the world.
The 23-year-old will get the chance to play in front of friends and family at Optus Stadium, although his sister is in America and will miss the match, which he jokes is down to her thinking it wasn’t a big enough occasion.
Green played a T20 international at Optus Stadium against England last month and said it was a good thing that he was able to build up his Test match experience before having the added pressure of playing at home.
“You always look forward to the first one at home,” he said.
“It’s actually been a bit of a blessing in disguise. I would have been very nervous if it had been one of my first games in Perth.
“It’s nice being away in new environments. When you’re on the road, you have to be around your team a lot more, so I’m pretty grateful that I had the opportunity to play games away and really get to know the guys.”
Green heads into the Test series still eyeing a maiden century, and he’ll be a huge part of the middle-order as the Aussies look to retain their world number one ranking.
Now an established member in all three formats of the game, there are fears that Green’s body may not hold up if he’s constantly asked to bowl lengthy spells of medium pace and then back it up with the bat.
And while he has struggled with injuries in the past, Green says there are no directives from Cricket Australia for him to take it easy this summer.
“(There are) no workloads at all. I’ve got a full quota if needed. Thankfully I’m the fifth bowler so hopefully the big four are going really well and won’t require me too much,” he said.
“I feel really good. My body’s in a good place, especially with all the cricket that we’ve been playing. I’m looking forward to a big summer because there’s going to be a lot of cricket on.”
But with the youngster set to nominate for next year’s IPL, Green faces a monster 2023 that includes an Ashes series in England, the 50-over World Cup and the home Test summer.
It’s why veteran opener David Warner has warned him about the rigours a packed schedule can have on the body and mind.
“I think from an experience point of view, it’s great,” he said.
“From a playing point of view, he’s obviously got four Test matches and a few T20s or one-dayers that are after it.
“Nineteen weeks straight in India, being your first trip there as well, it can be quite challenging from a heat perspective with the playing and recovery. It’s a different heat.
“I’ve done the Test series and the IPL straight before, and it is tough, but off the back of that you’ve got five Tests in England. Then I think it’s 20 days off before you go to Africa and play a World Cup. It’s a big year.
“Glenn Maxwell did it a couple of years ago where he played the whole year and was cooked come the season.
“From a youngster’s point of view, it’s totally up to him. For the longevity of his career, it’s a big call for him as a youngster. Whatever decision he goes with, we’ll respect it as players.”
Green’s development since his Test debut two years ago hasn’t been limited to his performances on the pitch, with the levelheaded youngster also maturing off the field with his preparation.
It’s an area of his game that he’ll need to continue to work on, but it’s clear his mindset has changed after he shared an anecdote from two years ago.
“I had a really good chat with the coaching staff before I debuted for Australia,” he said.
“They gave me a question that if I was to debut in half an hour, what would I do. At the time I said I’d have a hit for half an hour to make myself feel ready.
“But they pointed out that I’ve already hit a million balls in my life so I don’t need to go have a hit in the morning. It’d be best to prepare for a game, have a stretch, eat a lot of food and back my skills.
“I’m slowly starting to learn that so before a day of cricket, I’ll basically prioritise my bowling because looking after your body is key.”