Smith opens up to Green as partnership flourishes

Allrounder is taking full advantage of his promotion up the order to build a strong connection with Steve Smith

New faces 'bring energy and joy' for Aussie ODI squad

At No.6 in the order, Cameron Green "just missed" the chance to bat with Steve Smith over the past few years, so it's no surprise he's keen to take full advantage of his promotion up the order to build a formidable partnership with one of Australia's greatest batters.

While he admits the champion right-hander often "makes it look way too easy", Green is clearly benefiting from the more time spent with Smith at the other end after returning to both the Test and ODI sides in the past few weeks.

Before his promotion to No.4 for last month's Test series against the West Indies, the last time Green had faced more than 30 balls with Smith at the other end was during Australia's attritional three-Test tour of Pakistan in early 2022.

Green cashes in on batting promotion with unbeaten 77

According to Opta, Green's Test average when he's faced more than 15 balls batting with Smith is 44.33, while in ODIs he's scored 85 runs without being dismissed in their two innings together.

In just their past two partnerships – an unbeaten 149-run stand to seal victory in the first ODI at the MCG and a 71-run second innings partnership in last week's Test classic at the Gabba – Green has spent more balls alongside Smith in the middle than he had in his previous 51 innings for Australia.

Smith also seems to be relishing the newfound bond between the pair with the West Australian allrounder revealing his senior counterpart is giving him a "bit more" than what he had previously.

After last week's third-wicket partnership in the eight-run loss to the Windies at the Gabba, Green told cricket.com.au it was "probably the most he's spoken to me in a Test innings".

And he said Smith was just as chatty during Friday's ODI as he finished 79 not out and Green 77 not out to seal a comprehensive Australian victory by eight wickets in the side's first 50-over match since being crowned world champions last November.

"He goes about his own business, he doesn't really give you too much out there," Green said post-match. "He's probably speaking to me a bit more than he used to, he's pretty comfortable in his own skin at the moment and batting beautifully.

Smith makes light work of chase with run-a-ball 79

"I've been down at six and I've just missed him quite a bit the last few years (with) getting the chance to bat with him.

"The beauty of another four-year cycle with no World Cups coming up anytime soon (is) a lot of guys will get opportunity and thankfully mine was tonight.

"You never take for granted when you play for Australia, especially when you get a bit (more) opportunity, so it was nice to take it tonight."

While under no illusions that he'll have to vacate the No.3 spot when fellow WA allrounder Mitch Marsh comes back into the side, Green began his day on Friday with 2-40 from eight overs and knows his bowling will be key with spots up for grabs in the middle-order of the nation's first-choice 50-over side.

"It's always great to bat up the top in in white-ball cricket especially, you get a bit (of an) extra chance to face a harder new ball, a bit of extra time in the middle so you always want to bat up the top," he said.

"But I'm not moving Mitch out of the way anytime soon, he's obviously had a great couple of years so he deserves it.

"I've got a pretty simple role in the Test team not trying to over-attack (and) I've got a pretty good bowling line-up around me there. And I think it's pretty similar here (in the ODI team), trying to bowl my best ball, try not give them too many runs and don't over-attack really is how I go about it."

Green and Smith head out to the middle on day four of the second Test against the West Indies // Getty

After a refreshing break out on the sidelines with Marsh preferred in the Test team to start the summer, Green says he was "itching" to get back out there and find his fluency and rhythm in the middle.

The 24-year-old hasn't been included in the T20 squad to face the West Indies in three matches following the ODI series.

National selection chair George Bailey also indicated that Green is likely to sit out the three T20 internationals preceding the Test tour of New Zealand later this month to get some more game time under his belt with Western Australia in the Marsh Sheffield Shield.

“A few months ago, I was pretty cooked, it'd been a pretty long 12 months, so I think a rest came at a good time," Green said.

Green looking for continued improvement after 'ugly innings'

"But then by the end of that I was itching to get back into the team so it's worked out really well; it's always great to play cricket and get your fluency and rhythm back is always key when you're playing a lot of cricket so I'm pretty thankful about that.

"It's nice to spend some time in the middle, purely in the fact so I can move really well, try and get back in that groove (and) have a bit of timing, so it was nice to do it tonight."

Men's Dettol ODI Series v West Indies

February 2: Australia won by eight wickets

February 4: SCG, 2.30pm AEDT

February 6: Manuka Oval, Canberra 2.30pm AEDT

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), Travis Head (vc), Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Adam Zampa

West Indies ODI squad: Shai Hope (c), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Men's Dettol T20I Series v West Indies

February 9: Blundstone Arena, Hobart 7.00pm AEDT

February 11: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT

February 13: Perth Stadium, 7pm AEDT

Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

West Indies T20I squad: Rovman Powell (c), Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas