Each of Cameron Green’s 36 Test innings have thus far come at No.6 or below, but the 24-year-old will have a new batting position in two days’ time, in the first Test against West Indies in Adelaide, as he will slot in at No.4, replacing the retired David Warner in the XI, with Steve Smith volunteering to go to the top of the order.
Wednesday will mark Green’s first appearance in the Top 4 for Australia in Tests but the right-hander is no stranger to the position, having batted 24 times there in first-class cricket. And he has an impeccable record at No.4, having averaged 65.10 and having smashed 4 tons.
Green was slotted in at No.6 when he broke into the Test side, but ahead of his ‘second debut’ against the Windies, the all-rounder admitted that he is not a natural No.6, and stated that he feels that he is more suited to bat at No.4, where he can take his time to get going.
"What I like is that I've got a bit of time," Green said of his promotion to No.4.
"I've always felt maybe a touch rushed at No.6, especially after Heady [Travis Head], he makes it look a bit too easy at No.5. I've always felt like I've maybe had to push the game along where I feel like No.4 is my natural game, where I can take my time and get myself in."
For the past decade, Australia have had a rock at No.4 in the form of Smith, and filling in Smith’s shoes will by no means be an easy task for Green. But while acknowledging the magnitude of the task in front of him, the youngster insisted that he feels ‘no pressure’.
"I don't feel any pressure," Green said. "Obviously replacing someone like Steve is pretty tough. But I'm just going to play my own way. But I'm obviously grateful for him putting that in his mind and thinking of me.
"I think he's super excited to be opening. I think it's a win-win."
2023 started off on the perfect note imaginable for Green, with him scoring his first Test ton (against India in Ahmedabad) and then going to have a fantastic maiden IPL season with Mumbai Indians. However, he had a poor start to the six-Test stretch in England, which resulted in him getting dropped mid-way through the tour, for Mitchell Marsh.
He carried drinks for the rest of the year in whites and also warmed the bench for the majority of the 50-over World Cup, only making a few appearances.
2023 ended on a bittersweet note for Green, but the 24-year-old asserted that he is ‘grateful’ for what he went through, and claimed that Marsh fully deserved to be in the first XI ahead of him.
"There wasn't really a need to explain (my omission).I think Mitch is playing some incredible cricket and has done for a few years. I totally understood where they were going with that. But at the same time, I was grateful to be with the team so I could still work on my own craft and try and put my name back in the hat,” Green said.
"I always knew it was going to be a tough year. But also at the same time it's a great opportunity to learn and improve my game and see different environments and different coaching staff as well.
"I'm grateful I went through it."
Green will enter the West Indies Tests on the back of some good form, having posted 96 & 46 in his last two first-class matches.