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Pattinson aims for end of one-day series

Brydon Coverdale

February 17, 2012

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James Pattinson took a five-for on debut, Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day, December 4, 2011
James Pattinson found the workload of four Tests in the space of a month challenging © AFP
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Players/Officials: James Pattinson

James Pattinson hopes to be part of Australia's squad for the last few games of the Commonwealth Bank Series after recovering from an injury to his left foot. Pattinson will make his return for Victoria in a Futures League four-day match in Adelaide starting on Monday, and he is confident that if he gets through that game unscathed he will be able to slot straight back into the national side.

Pattinson was sidelined after playing the first four Tests of Australia's home summer. Those games, against New Zealand and India, came in the space of a month and Pattinson conceded that having played only nine first-class matches before his Test debut, the sudden spike in his workload had been challenging.

But he has been bowling in the nets for the past fortnight and made his comeback to club cricket last weekend, though as a batsman only. Pattinson said his recovery had gone to plan and he was ready to move out of the nets and on to the field, although he believed he would be better off coming back in the lower-pressure atmosphere of the Futures League, where he can ease in to his rhythm, than playing for the Bushrangers.

"It was just a bit of bruising on there," Pattinson said of his foot. "All it [needed] was a bit of rest and that swelling would go down. That's happened and it's gone down perfectly and it looks to be fine. I've got no trouble with the foot. Now it's just trying to get my workload back up there to Test cricket standards, and don't go out there too hard and [injure] a side or something like that. I've just got to take it easy to start with and just build in to it.

"In the period of time when I was playing Test cricket I'd never really [played that long]. I'd played two Shield games in a row and that's the most cricket I've had. I suppose it was just my bones and my body wasn't hard enough for Test cricket at that stage. Hopefully now I can get back and have a bit of rest and get some workload back in to my body."

Provided he does not have any injury setbacks, Pattinson is a certainty to be part of Australia's tour of the West Indies in March and April. First, he hopes he can show the selectors he is ready to be included in Australia's squad before the end of the tri-series, which finishes with an Australia-Sri Lanka clash at the MCG in two weeks, followed by the finals.

"That's definitely the plan," he said. "We've got a game out here [at the MCG] and then the final. I'm looking forward to playing this Futures game and getting a bit of workload into my body and then slotting back in to the one-day series."

Pattinson said he would need to be cautious during the Futures League match and conceded he was not ready for a match at full intensity, which will mean careful management of his spells. But he said he had no serious concerns about getting through the four-day encounter despite his lack of cricket over the past six weeks.

"Not at all," he said. "My body is feeling fine. It's just that thing of going from not bowling at all to bowling a lot in a short space of time. That's when you're more vulnerable - not saying you're going to get injured but you are at your most vulnerable to get injured at those stages.

"I'm probably not ready to go at 100%. If I was playing Shield cricket, Shippy [coach Greg Shipperd] would be on my back trying to get 100% out of me knowing that we can make the final. I'm not ready for that at the moment. If I don't get picked in the one-day series it might be an option to go back and play [Shield]."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (February 20, 2012, 1:00 GMT)

@zenboomerang - in Hobart Oz bowled about 120 overs. That is barely the expectation for ONE Test innings. If Pattinson couldn't have bowled his share of 120 overs, then he shouldn't be playing at all. I never even commented on Christian in the Test series v Ind. ATM - Christian is not up to Test standards as a batsmen & his bowling is not great at FC level. There is no way anybody can predict that Christian would of done any better than any one of the batsmen that played for Oz in the Hobart test. I think you have a sever case of God complex if that be the case. In the Indian series he bowled approx 75 overs. That is less than 20 overs per innings, I stand by what I said, it is interesting that you blame the captain & management for his injuries. The way the summer worked out, his workload was/is relatively light for 4 tests. Selecting Christian would of involved dropping Khawaja,Hughes orWarner, not Marsh. Fact is we won 5/6 tests this summer which reflects reasonably good selections

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 19, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

@Meety :- "glad you didn't select the team for the Hobart test, our batting let us down"... lol... Wish I did & again you try to twist what I write :) ... As I said Christian would have been at no.6 which is where Watson should play in Tests & be a like for like swap for when Watson breaks down again or doesn't improve on his batting averages 20 over the last 12 months... At least Christian doesn't carry all the baggage that Watson has... From CA - "he (Watson) can no longer afford to push his body to the limits" - bad news for a youngish man...

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 19, 2012, 2:28 GMT)

@Meety... How shortsighted of you & misinterpreting what I wrote - getting used to you doing that :) ... I said Christian should have played in all the India Tests & yes he would have lessened the load on Pattinson & slowed any bruising... I would have batted Christian at no.6 & moved the middle order up (Mr C at no.3) - with Christians batting we would have won the Hobart Test... Dropping both Hughes & Marsh from both series as I also commented on at those times...

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 19, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

@Claydo78 :- "Christian ... has only played average cricket"... The 4th leading Oz runmaker in this series batting at no.7 - above M Hussey, Warner, Ponting, Forrest... Watson's first 50 ODI's had just 3 decent batting scores of over 50... 1 against Kenya & 1 against India in Kuala Lumpur with an average of just 29... Watson's Test average in last 12 mths is a paltry 20 from 5 games ... Christian already has an average over 30 from just 4 ODI games & 59 from 5 SS games... McKay is the leading bowler in the Tri-series & without him we would be 4 down... Yes Watson should be opening in the OD'ers but his physical weaknesses make him a game by game proposition - he already admitted the other day that he can no longer go at 100% & has to tone down his game (for photoshoots :P)... So what is his future?...

Posted by Meety on (February 18, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

@zenboomerang - glad you didn't select the team for the Hobart test, our batting let us down, not the bowling. BTW - you were not calling for Christian to replace Pattinson, it was to replace a batsmen. NZ's two innings combined amounted to approx. 4 sessions of cricket. Workload in Hobart did NOT contribute to his heal injury, it would of occured on the harder MCG or SCG pitches. As for Christian, want him playing in our ODI side, not totally convinced his bowling is good enough to compare to Watto as a like- for like replacement. I'd rather O'Keefe or Faulkner, they have similar batting credentials (Christian more 100s), but are far better bowlers. Interesting that you blame the captain for Pattinsons preparation, everybody's a victim hey?

Posted by Claydo78 on (February 17, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Zenboomerang, theres no chance on earth that Dan Christian is test match player! And once the selectors got a look at him in the nets they came to the same conclusion and that's why he didn't play against new zealand and India! The hand full of matches Christian has played for Australia this season he has only played average cricket! Once Watson is fit again Christian can kiss his international career good bye! Hurry up and get fit pattinson, our current one day attack is a shambles! Siddle ripped the Indians to shreds in the test matches why hasn't he been considered? We are relying on an past it lee and a useless McKay. Not the best environment for a work in progress stark to be in!

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 17, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

Seems very obvious that management & captain didn't look at Pattinson's preparations before bowling him on such an extended run... Not picking Christian in Hobart was just plain dumb & extending Dan into the Indian series would have releaved Pattinson's workload greatly & not caused the injury in the first place (I mentioned this before the Hobart Test)... The point is that Watson would return to the Test team when fully fit - so why not have Christian playing as his replacement?... Like for like swap - keeps the squad balanced & helps the kids coming through...

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 17, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

@jmcilhinney... Cummin's bruised heal is what I meant to say - not Cowan's head... lol... As Cowan has a tough head :)

Posted by zenboomerang on (February 17, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

@jmcilhinney... Bruising is obviously a stress related injury - thought that was common knowledge among cricketers & fans... Cowan's bruised head was a very serious injury & bone breaks/fractures quite often heal much more quickly... aka Lee's broken toe from only 1 week ago yet playing today...

Posted by Harry_Kool on (February 17, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

Don't worry about the ODI's, test cricket is where you should be aiming to be at peak fitness. I really hope they don't play him in any of the ODI's this season, he needs to be eased slowly into fc cricket.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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