AUS v WI ​​- First Test – at home, and still not enough.

This week is set to be a special homecoming for Cameron Greene, with the all-rounder making his Test debut in his hometown of Perth against the West Indies starting on Wednesday.

Green, who made his Test debut in December 2020, has not missed any of Australia’s 14 Tests since then, but strangely he has yet to play at home, as Perth have not played since 2019. Has not hosted a Test match.

His homecoming this week has been the focus of a marketing and media campaign to lure some locals through the gates this week. But Green admits he’s not really feeling the comforts of home. Surprisingly, he has played more first-class matches at the Galle International Stadium in Sri Lanka than at the Perth Stadium.

He has only played one Sheffield Shield match there in 2018, when he played as a bowler for Western Australia and batted at No.8 behind Ashton Agar. The majority of his first-class cricket in Perth was at the WACA. He has played eight T20s at the Perth Stadium, but only one since January 2020.

As the only WA-based player in the playing XI, rather than being a source of local knowledge for his teammates, he is trying to get as much information as possible from his interstate teammates who have more experience playing there than him. Is.

“It definitely feels weird that you’re playing a home game and not at your house,” Green said. “Everyone expects you to do well and get used to the situation but I feel like maybe some of the other guys are more used to it than me. It will be a challenge.

“I’m asking the same questions as Marnus. [Labuschagne] Who batted well there a few years back is how he found it. It’s a bit awkward when you’re asking guys how things are at your house.”

Green isn’t even staying in his bed this week. He enjoyed a rare week at home in the lead-up to the Tests after taking over Australia’s ODI series against England early on before the Test summer. But this week he has opted to stay in the team hotel, staying at home for his only international match in Perth, a T20I against England in October where he felt he was resting too much in the build-up. .

Green is quickly learning about life as a three-format player, just as he learned about Test cricket in the last two years.

Played eight first-class matches, scored three centuries, and bowled in four of them before his first home Test of the summer in 2020-21 against India Green.

Ahead of his second home summer in 2021–22, Green played five first-class matches for WA, scoring a century and three half-centuries, and taking wickets in every game in the build-up to the Ashes.

Ahead of a five-Test home summer against the West Indies and South Africa in 2022-23, Green has not played a single red ball game. His last first-class match was the second Test against Sri Lanka at Galle in July. He has played six ODIs and seven T20Is since late August and has become a regular member of the ODI team and a key member of the T20I team.

He was preparing to play Shield cricket in mid-October and was literally facing red balls in the nets when he was told that he was going to be included in the T20 World Cup squad following Josh Ingles’ freak injury. After which he left only a few days ago. T20 series against England.

Green is trying to come to terms with the short lead-in to the Test matches. He said that it is unfortunate to play three formats. “You don’t really prepare too much, which I’m not used to. I like to go a good month or so into a Test series. It’s something I’ll have to get used to. There’s a lot of respect for those who do that.”

Unlike David Warner, Steven Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood, Green doesn’t have one discipline to prepare, he has two.

Learning to manage his time and prioritize his practice sessions is part of his education. Green would prefer to spend his time only on his batting. He was the last man left in Australia’s mandatory three-hour centre-wicket session at the WACA on Monday. He was only out by Smith who was still in the nets when Green pulled on his pads as he tried to get used to the rhythm of Test match batting after three months of hitting the white ball.

“It’s basically trying to learn how to release the ball again,” Green said. “I think in white-ball cricket, you’re trying to hit the ball and your contact point is in front of your eyes, basically trying and working it hard. So I think it’s learning to rein him in again. Being able to defend under your eyes. Because it feels like a different game sometimes.”

But he also needs to work on his bowling. Three months of white-ball cricket means he is yet to reach his maximum bowling load ahead of five back-to-back Test matches, although he has come very close in the past week.

His history of stress-related back injuries remains at the forefront of Australia’s minds, but his overs and his bowling skills are crucial to the balance of Australia’s attack. She no longer has a technical adviser in former WA bowling coach Matt Mason, who joined the England women’s team after leaving Perth last summer. But Green continues to use his technical advice as he tries to stay fit and healthy during another big summer campaign.

“Matt Mason left me in a really good place,” Green said. “I think he had two really simple focuses that I put into my bowling, basically jumping straight and not trying to jump too much. Trying to be as balanced at the crease as possible. Kind of. Some really good clear checkpoints to test. Every time and I’ve had two or three good sessions with them this week.”

Green will have to continue to put himself through a relentless schedule over the next 12 months, which will only increase if he adds the IPL to tours of India, England and the World Cup in 2023.

By the end of it Perth itself may be as foreign to him as Perth Stadium is this week.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo.


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