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Australian Greens could focus on red-ball cricket before taking on India


MELBOURNE: All-rounder Cameron Green could be spared white-ball duties for Australia to focus on their red-ball game ahead of the Test series against India next summer, coach Andrew says McDonalds.

Green has been playing Sheffield Shield cricket with Western Australia in the run-up to the ongoing Test series in New Zealand and said red-ball preparation helped him prepare for his match-winning 174, not eliminated in Wellington’s first match.

McDonald said Green could enjoy a similar lead for the five-Test series against India and be rested from the scheduled ODIs and T20Is against Pakistan which begin the summer at home.

“I would probably err on the side of preparing with the red ball. We know how good a white ball player he is, so you prioritize what he looks like next summer,” McDonald told reporters .

“White-ball cricket is important, but this Test summer is important, so I think with the results he’s had (in Wellington) he’ll probably come to us and say, ‘Can you give us some Shield matches before the first Test. against India?

Australia beat the Black Caps by 172 runs in the pool reserve, the margin of victory almost matching Green’s first innings, which was the second hundred of his Test career.

Green followed his century with a vital 34 as Australia were bowled out for 164 in their second innings.

Wellington consolidated Green’s ownership of the fourth spot long held by one of the country’s greatest hitters, Steve Smith, who now opens the batting with Usman Khawaja following David Warner’s withdrawal from the format.

Green’s shares rose while those of teammate Marnus Labuschagne fell, with the number three’s struggles laid bare in Wellington where he kicked a total of three points.

Once scoring centuries for fun, Labuschagne has not gone beyond 10 runs in his last six Test innings.

Ahead of New Zealand’s second and final Test which begins on Friday in Christchurch, McDonald said there were no major concerns about Labuschagne’s form as long as his teammates were up to the task.

“We want the best six or seven hitters to perform collectively,” he said.

“Can he do better? There’s no doubt about it. Does he know it? He knows it.

“Over time, there will be ebbs and flows in your career.”


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