However, the flying visit to India for three T20Is last week could prove to have been one of the most significant periods in Green’s career as he made his mark as a lead-off hitter who likely put huge dollar figures next to his name for the IPL.
The carefully managed early stages of Green’s career due to his history of back injuries are now entering a critical phase as he emerges as a player in three formats at a time when Australia has a huge number of big series and tournaments ahead of him, and now with the chance that franchises will come calling.
While Green is at least not part of Australia’s T20 World Cup squad yet, his upcoming international schedule is packed: five home tests against the West Indies and South Africa, four tests in India, the Ashes in England (plus a possible World Championship). Test Championship Final) and then the ODI World Cup next year this time for another home summer. That list includes no other bilateral white-ball commitments, plus domestic cricket for Western Australia and Perth Scorchers, with Green recently signing for the latter.
Caution remains over Green’s bowling workload – he was returned to bowling after a break on the Sri Lanka tour and was recently given a rest against New Zealand after suffering a cramp – and while he is now largely unrestricted in Tests, Cummins admitted it is something that is never far from his mind.
“One of my first thoughts when I bowl him is that we don’t want to burn him,” he said at an event to announce NRMA Insurance as a new CA sponsor. “Think it’s been a huge win from the medical side of things to get him to play as much cricket as he has in recent years, luckily he can fall back on his batting even when he’s not bowling.
“Now that he’s playing in and around three formats it becomes even more important. He’s someone who loves to play, even if he goes back to WA we’ll have to sort that out too. There’s 15 tests in the coming months plus a World Cup, a lot of it.” cricket.”
And then there’s the reliance on his services from other teams. “You can’t really blame anyone for going in” [the IPL]’ said Cummins. “He will demand a lot from him wherever he plays. Decisions will be made, there is a lot of cricket around.”
More broadly, Cummins CA cautioned to be aware of the rapidly changing landscape in the game, despite international cricket, especially Tests, remaining a strong format in Australia. The Daily Telegram recently reported that Cummins had turned down a large money offer from a city-based T20 league in India. It is likely to be a topic to be discussed at the next MoU negotiations.
“[They] “We have to be proactive, the world is changing, almost every month there are new competitions and opportunities around the world,” he said. “We are lucky in Australia that for all of us players and the fans, Test cricket is number one. Whenever there is a test tour, we all want to be there.
“But we can’t assume that will always be the case. Maybe [it’s] the way we structure contracts, manage different players, because unfortunately, or fortunately, it’s the reality of the world.”
In the short term, Green will provide Australia with a ready-made replacement in case they have to deal with an injury ahead of the T20 World Cup. Despite all the buzz about finding a place in the squad, that’s the only way he’ll break through for this tournament, although more substantial scores against the West Indies next week will keep the topic at the center of the build-up, especially if others have a shortage of runs.
“Don’t think we’ll start to be surprised if he takes another step up, he just looks straight home,” Cummins said. “[It was] a new role that opens up the percussion and plays boldly, that’s what you want to see from any young player. It’s a close-knit team to come in at the moment.”
The Australian T20 squad will reunite next week to begin their final build-up to the World Cup with two games against the West Indies on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane, before three games against England in Perth and Canberra. They then have one more warm-up match against India before they face New Zealand in the SCG on October 22.
Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo