Aussie A tour a dream for teenaged Green
National Performance Squad member and promising WA allrounder will head to India with some of the country's top players as part of his development
12 August 2018, 11:45 AM AEST
Teenage allrounder Cameron Green has been abiding by some timely words of wisdom from his former state coach Justin Langer as he prepares to head to India with the Australia A squad on Monday.
Green isn't in the squad per se, but he and fellow allrounder Jonathan Merlo will be non-playing members on the trip as part of their development, having been earmarked by selectors as particularly exciting products.
The West Australian made a stunning entry into Sheffield Shield cricket as a 17-year-old in February 2017, when he became the youngest player to take a Sheffield Shield five-wicket haul on debut, claiming 5-24 against Tasmania.
In his next Shield match, he showed his prowess as a big hitter, plonking Test quick James Pattinson for three sixes en route to 45 from 49 deliveries.
Stress reactions and bone edema in his back then stalled his rise, but while unable to bowl through much of 2017, Green threw himself into batting practice.
"I would like to say I'm 'genuine' in my age group, but I've been picked for WA as a bowler, with my batting handy lower down the order," he told cricket.com.au of his balance between the two disciplines.
"At the Warriors, I've got Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, who are both genuine allrounders, so having them around the squad is added competition but it's awesome just to bounce ideas off them both."
Green, who also holds a British passport owing to his mother being English, was picked in the 10-man National Performance Squad this winter, a group of elite young players based at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
The group toured India recently, giving the 19-year-old an ideal preparation for the upcoming Australia A tour. It was also an opportunity to work on aspects of his game – and one in particular – that he felt needed fine-tuning.
"A month beforehand I was just thinking, 'I can't sweep – I'm too tall to sweep'," he said.
"But it came down to the last match and I just thought, 'Well I'm here, I might as well practice my sweeping'.
"Luckily enough I did get a couple away, so now I'd say I feel comfortable enough (sweeping)."
The 'couple away' were swept sixes during a rampaging 44-ball 83, and now the 198cm allrounder is eyeing a return to the subcontinent with a group of players pushing for national selection.
It has been a heady rise, but Langer's words continue to ring in his ears.
"His main message to me personally has been to keep my head down," Green said. "As a young guy getting exposed this early and this quickly, it can get to you a little bit.
"So that's what he said to me, just to keep my two feet on the ground, enjoy what's happening but don't let it get to me.
"It's good to have someone who has been through it."
New national coach Langer has indeed experienced the highs and lows of cricket at the top level, having made his Test debut as a 22-year-old, then playing two Tests in more than five years before earning a regular place. He went on to play 105 Tests.
Now one of his former Warriors charges, who idolised Brett Lee growing up and whose upside has several within CA headquarters salivating, is beginning his own journey.
"I want to see how the (Australia A players) go about it," he said. "How they train. And just be involved in that type of environment.
"Being in the nets with these guys will be really valuable."
Australia A Tour of India
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth
One-day fixtures in Vijayawada
17 August v India A
19 August v South Africa A
21 August v India B
23 August v India A
25 August v South Africa A
27 August v India B
29 August - Quad-Series Final
Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain
Four-day fixtures in Vizag
2-5 September v India A
8-11 September v India A