Updated March 4th, 2024 at 18:48 IST

Green may skip white-ball series against Pakistan to prepare for home Tests against India in Dec

The same template worked for the 24-year-old in the ongoing Test series in New Zealand as he hit a career-best 174 not out in Australia's big win in the first match here on Sunday.

Cameron Green | Image:AP
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Australia batter Cameron Green is likely to skip the white-ball series in Pakistan later this year and instead play Sheffield Shield to prepare himself for the the big-ticket home Test series against India in December, according to head coach Andrew McDonald. 

The same template worked for the 24-year-old in the ongoing Test series in New Zealand as he hit a career-best 174 not out in Australia's big win in the first match here on Sunday.

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He was not included in the recent T20I series against the West Indies and New Zealand and instead earmarked him for West Australia's Sheffield Shield fixture against Tasmania in Hobart, where he struck an unbeaten 103 to provide an ideal warm-up for the first Test against the Kiwis. 

"It's a big decision to leave anyone out of international cricket when they're potentially in the best eleven, so I'm glad he (Green) embraced that when we had that conversation with him, and the return on it is pretty immediate," MacDonald said.

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"The next stress point on that will be next summer, leading into the Indian Test series where we've got Pakistan in ODI cricket and T20 cricket. I'd like to probably err on the side of preparing him through red-ball - we know how good a white-ball player he is, so you put a priority on what it looks like next summer. 

"The white-ball cricket's important, but geez that Test summer's important, so I think with the results he's had (at Wellington) he'll probably come to us and say 'can you give us a couple of Shield games before the first Test against India?'." Australia will tour England in September for five ODIs and three T20Is, followed by a white-ball series in Pakistan where they play three ODIs and three T20Is in November.

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This will be followed by the five-match Test series for the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia in December 2024-January 2025. Australia have not beaten India in a Test series for a decade, which includes India's past two visits to Australia in 2018-19 and 2020-21.

"He's become an all-three format player and we thought his greatest challenge was flipping between the formats," McDonald said of Green's increasingly vital all-round asset. "We felt that by keeping Cam (Cameron Green) in one format for a period of time gave him the best chance, and that won't always be the case with everyone.

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"Other players can go (more readily) from one-day international cricket into Test cricket, and it's probably the more experienced players who have done it over a period of time." 

Green's importance to Australia's Test planning is underscored by the reshuffle of the batting line-up in the wake of David Warner's retirement. Senior batter Steve Smith has been elevated to the opener's position, and Green has been slotted into his number four role. 

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And even though Australia are also preparing for a T20 World Cup later this year, for which Green remains in the selection mix, it was deemed more valuable for him to play Shield cricket than in recent T20Is given he will be exposed to plenty of 20-over cricket in his upcoming IPL stint.

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 18:48 IST