Australia news May 5, 2014

Pattinson under back stress cloud

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Twenty20 may be removed from James Pattinson's rehab diet after it emerged that the fast bowler is suffering from a recurrence of back stress trouble and has no certain return date for the resumption of his international career.

Among the re-signed pace bowling mentor Craig McDermott's more pressing assignments is to oversee further work to refine the bowling action of Pattinson, who once again fell prey to back problems following his lively return to the Test team in the deciding Test match of the South Africa series at Newlands in March.

While initially Cricket Australia described Pattinson as simply complaining of "lower back soreness", further examination has revealed evidence of stress on his back. McDermott is adamant that at the age of 24, Pattinson should not be rushed back into service until a sustainable technique can be put into place.

"With Patto it'll depend how he heals, first and foremost. That's got to improve from a clinical point of view before we get to the path we'll go down with his technical side of it," McDermott told ESPNcricinfo. "The timeline on that hasn't even been determined yet, so we'll just see how he progresses over the next few months.

"I want to make sure we take our time and get it right. He's obviously having some sort of trouble with his skeletal make up that's not coping at his age. He's almost at the age where you'd think he's not going to get too many more problems, but everyone's different. Patto does bowl fast, he's not a 130kph bowler, so we've got to make sure we get him right and take our time to bring him back nice and slowly."

Pattinson's performance in the match was particularly notable considering it was his first red ball fixture of any kind since suffering a stress fracture in the Lord's Test last year. Unready for the first bracket of Sheffield Shield matches and then in South Africa for the second, Pattinson was compelled to make his return in the Big Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades.

Efforts to improve his technique and groove it during long-from cricket were thus frustrated by a format in which pacemen are obliged to bowl at top speed but also change their action on a ball-to-ball basis for slower deliveries, wide yorkers and other variations.

"There's been some discussion about bringing him back through club cricket and formats where he can settle into a rhythm," McDermott said. "T20 cricket is always difficult to bring blokes back through, because they're under the pump, bowling different balls all the time.

"It's a yorker, then a slower-ball bouncer, then a good-length ball or a wide yorker. And if they're getting whacked by the batsmen they're not going to bowl at 80% and build things up gradually. It's not in their make-up, and it's certainly not in Patto's make-up because he's such a competitor."

Elsewhere Ryan Harris is continuing his recovery from overdue knee surgery, though McDermott agreed with the 34-year-old paceman that a return in time for Australia's next Test match assignment against Pakistan in the UAE would be doubtful. More likely is Harris' participation in the 2015 World Cup, having not played an ODI since 2012 as the selectors sought to preserve his body.

"He's definitely touch and go for Dubai, we've just got to see how his knee goes over the next few months. You've got to start bowling workloads about six or eight weeks before that to get right for Test match level," McDermott said. "We've just got to monitor him to see how his knee's coping with his rehabilitation, and see if it's possible to get him up for there.

"I don't think there's any point rushing Ryano either, we've got a lot of cricket with India, World Cup, West Indies and the Ashes, we've got to make sure he's 100% when he comes back. If he's fully fit he's certainly someone who can quite easily play in the one day team. He's got all the firepower, the variations and he's very experienced. I'm sure if he's fit he'll be certainly looked at."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Beertjie on May 10, 2014, 21:35 GMT

    Well if Rhino and Patto miss the UAE it might be hard to win there. My pick among the quicks would be Mitch, Sidds, Starc, Jackson Bird and Faulkner.

  • on May 9, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    really sad that ryan harris and pattinson will not be available, the bowling stocks are great .OZ can bring in cummins, hazelwood and even Gurrinder. the issue is batting particularly at the top 3. Warner was lucky in SA were catches were dropped and he made the most of it. doolan should be a long term prospect and should not be discarded. they would have bring in some one for chris rogers who is approaching 37 soon.

  • Vishnu27 on May 8, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    TheBengalTiger: as opposed to those wonderfully mannered Indian gentlemen like Kohli, Dhawan & Harbhajan? Seriously. Please spare us

  • Vishnu27 on May 8, 2014, 1:49 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy: LOL. Best you've got? After such a wonderful summer of English meekness, I wouldn't have thought it was time to put the head above the parapet just yet...

  • ToneMalone on May 6, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Wow - Ryano's always in doubt, Siddle's down to 130kph, and Patto & Cummins are too young for their bodies to handle fast bowling. Starc's has had some niggles of late too.

    So guess we're now just depending on Johnson to tear through batsmen with that infalliable wrist action. What could possibly go wrong?!

  • jonesy2 on May 6, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    surely its nothing and they are just being overcautious with a prized prodigy of the number 1 cricket nation?

  • TheBengalTiger on May 6, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Maybe he can take this time out to learn some manners, he behaves disgracefully.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 6, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Oh dear. Not another injury prone aussie.

  • dunger.bob on May 6, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game: You're in good form, which is nice to see. To answer your question about why Patto seems a bit soft, that's easy, he's a Pom! lol. In fact his brother Darren did play a Test for England, bowled quite well but was dumped after just one game. .. As to why our best young bowlers are seemingly always injured I have no real clue but I suspect it might have something to do with too much time in the gym and not enough time actually bowling.

    As for getting beaten by the Kiwi's, I would have thought you Saffers better watch out for that trap. They're playing some pretty good cricket at the moment and if your Vernon and Morne bowl as brainlessly to them as they did to us the Kiwi's would probably put the cleaners through you! .. I think we play them quite soon so I guess we'll see if they can ambush us - again.

  • Greatest_Game on May 6, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Oh Oh. Australia's quick bowling woes continue. Losing Lillee is hardly going to help toughen up Aus' somewhat soft young quicks. Another hard as nails, tough, old school hero shoved out by the quiche chefs at CA. This is sure to prompt Mitch to go out and get another tattoo. I can't tell if these are cricket boards or soap operas any more!

  • Beertjie on May 10, 2014, 21:35 GMT

    Well if Rhino and Patto miss the UAE it might be hard to win there. My pick among the quicks would be Mitch, Sidds, Starc, Jackson Bird and Faulkner.

  • on May 9, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    really sad that ryan harris and pattinson will not be available, the bowling stocks are great .OZ can bring in cummins, hazelwood and even Gurrinder. the issue is batting particularly at the top 3. Warner was lucky in SA were catches were dropped and he made the most of it. doolan should be a long term prospect and should not be discarded. they would have bring in some one for chris rogers who is approaching 37 soon.

  • Vishnu27 on May 8, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    TheBengalTiger: as opposed to those wonderfully mannered Indian gentlemen like Kohli, Dhawan & Harbhajan? Seriously. Please spare us

  • Vishnu27 on May 8, 2014, 1:49 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy: LOL. Best you've got? After such a wonderful summer of English meekness, I wouldn't have thought it was time to put the head above the parapet just yet...

  • ToneMalone on May 6, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Wow - Ryano's always in doubt, Siddle's down to 130kph, and Patto & Cummins are too young for their bodies to handle fast bowling. Starc's has had some niggles of late too.

    So guess we're now just depending on Johnson to tear through batsmen with that infalliable wrist action. What could possibly go wrong?!

  • jonesy2 on May 6, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    surely its nothing and they are just being overcautious with a prized prodigy of the number 1 cricket nation?

  • TheBengalTiger on May 6, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Maybe he can take this time out to learn some manners, he behaves disgracefully.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 6, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Oh dear. Not another injury prone aussie.

  • dunger.bob on May 6, 2014, 7:32 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game: You're in good form, which is nice to see. To answer your question about why Patto seems a bit soft, that's easy, he's a Pom! lol. In fact his brother Darren did play a Test for England, bowled quite well but was dumped after just one game. .. As to why our best young bowlers are seemingly always injured I have no real clue but I suspect it might have something to do with too much time in the gym and not enough time actually bowling.

    As for getting beaten by the Kiwi's, I would have thought you Saffers better watch out for that trap. They're playing some pretty good cricket at the moment and if your Vernon and Morne bowl as brainlessly to them as they did to us the Kiwi's would probably put the cleaners through you! .. I think we play them quite soon so I guess we'll see if they can ambush us - again.

  • Greatest_Game on May 6, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Oh Oh. Australia's quick bowling woes continue. Losing Lillee is hardly going to help toughen up Aus' somewhat soft young quicks. Another hard as nails, tough, old school hero shoved out by the quiche chefs at CA. This is sure to prompt Mitch to go out and get another tattoo. I can't tell if these are cricket boards or soap operas any more!

  • siddhartha87 on May 6, 2014, 6:19 GMT

    @IndianInnerEdge Agreed. Umesh Yadav bowled pretty well in 2012 down under tour. True he went for 4.66 runs an over but his strike rate was 50.8 on that tour which is pretty good.But after that series instead of grooming him India turned to pacers like Bhubaneshwar Kumar. Looking at the latest trend I am sure Mayank Sharma will get his test cap pretty soon. Indian think tank is attracted to these 130 Kmph bowlers for some unknown reason. Kumar and Sharma are good bowlers in t20 s but with these sort bowlers of India can never win a test abroad. India need some proper pacers even to be competitive in abroad tours. India need to start looking beyond Zaheer Khan as well. He was a great bowler at his peak but surely his good days are over.

  • IndianInnerEdge on May 6, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    Am sure OZ has enough depth in their reserves to if not fully replace patto but a close fit, look @ the number of young pacers in their FC setup. @ dunger.bob - I hear what u are saying, but in Umesh Yadav IMHO India do have an out & out quick who could fling it at 145kmph + , i do remember on the Aus tour in early 2012 he bowled a couple of really quick spells. But now, donot know what his recovery programme is, what training these indian pacers get, dunno what dunc fletcher does, i just feel if something is not done in the indian setup, Yadav will be again lost in the quagmire of meaningless ODI's and T20's and absolutely no future planning, strength training, means to look after ones body to handle the stress & strains of bowling quick, be another run of the mill medium pacer. I def wish BCCI would be quick on the draw and pay attention to things like bench strength, proper grooming of quicks, proper training etc but then that is like asking for the moon...:)

  • Greatest_Game on May 6, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Did Aus change something in the water? All my life, since I saw Bill Lawry's men get hammered senseless & get up & go at it again & again, never giving up, I thought of Aussies as real tough. I worked with Aussies on 4 continents, in a hard industry, & they were hard men. At a company in London, two thirds of the staff were Aussies, Kiwis & Saffas. We are all in our 50's & 60's now.

    Merv Hughes, Rod Marsh, the Waughs, Punter, these blokes were tougher than nails. Now only the old guys like Rhino have any backbone. Aus can't buy a quick who lasts more than a few matches.

    Maybe its the beer. Did you change the beer? Cricket is no fun with only Kiwis, Poms, Pak & Indians to beat! Soon the Kiwis will be hammering you. Heck, that will be fun! Oh yeah!!

  • siddhartha87 on May 6, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    @LoungeChairCritic agreed in Dubai it will be great if Aussie's include O"keefe in playing XI.He had a tremendous Shield session. Pakistani batting line up is very brittle. They fall even if Aussie goes with 4 seamers in Dubai. But debuting O'Keefe on spin friendly wicket will be helpful for Oz cricket for long term.

  • wellrounded87 on May 6, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    India don't produce test quality fast bowlers because they don't have pitches for it. They continually produce dust bowls for domestic and international cricket. You'll never get a world class sprinter when all the kids are running long distance and you'll never get a world class quick when all the bowlers are playing on borderline clay

    The same reason Australia no longer produces quality spin bowlers.

    Shane Warne came about while pitches like Adelaide and Sydney were havens for spin bowlers on the domestic scene, but in recent times the domestic competition have produced green tops and mine fields to try and generate results within 4 days.

    This year CA made a change and the pitches were a lot flatter this year and as a result the spinners played a much more pivotal part in the sheild.

  • LoungeChairCritic on May 5, 2014, 23:27 GMT

    Patto like most of our young talent needs to be looked after. Personally I don't think the conditions in Dubai v Pakistan later in the year would of suited him anyway. To win away you need to pick a team for the conditions. Faulkner has enough tricks in his bags to be competitive on slow and low wickets. On the basis that we play both Watson and Faulkner as bowling allrounders, I think we should look at playing both Lyon and O'Keefe in Dubai. Playing two spinners lets us bowl Johnson in short and sharp spells. O'Keefe had an outstanding shield season last year, he needs to be rewarded with test selection. The only other change I would make is to bring in Maxwell for Doolan. Maxwell is a better player of spin and can be our middle order x factor. Smith can bat at 3 and is also a good player of spin. In Dubai, Pakistan would be tempted to open the bowling with spin from one end. Against Australia in Dubai, my gut feeling is that Pakistan will only play one fast bowler.

  • MinusZero on May 5, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    It happens in all sports, players are rushed back before being ready.

  • indianzen on May 5, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    Damn these injuries. Aussies have lost more than anyone else.. Watto, Harris, Cummis and Patto... I think overdose in T20s are hurting such serious Cricketing talents... With Johnson retiring in another 2-3 years, replacements are not at all sure...

  • siddhartha87 on May 5, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    It's great to see CA taking casre about Patt Cummins and Pattinson . Both are amazing bowlers and destined to be greats.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on May 5, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    With the fast bowling reserves they've got, I guess Australia can afford to miss a bowler or two. Right now, they could field a whole eleven of test class fast bowlers!

  • dunger.bob on May 5, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    @ land47: Lol, that's it mate, keep the faith. Actually, you've got a point, but I think we've got it covered. Believe me, fast bowlers we have in droves. Droves I tell you.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on May 5, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Extremely delighted to learn that Rhino is a chance for the WC. If fit, he's got to play white-ball cricket too, his stats and skills are just too awesome. It was just one bad game he had against Sri Lanka in 2012 at Hobart and that too on a ground with incredibly short boundaries.

    Also good to learn that all this while he had been rested, not dropped from the ODI squad; because he is an absolute gem. Easily better than Johnson(inaccurate) and McKay(just slower balls, no yorkers and flop against sustained aggression from batsmen)

  • cricketsubh on May 5, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    sry to say that aus team doc make small injury big yes he got bad back but he is not the 1st player to have bad back he can rehab and back in the game .plz publish cricinfo

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 5, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is not like there is a shortage of quality Australian fast bowlers, and, right now, Pattinson is not in the top 4. No need to keep him out of action, etc. Remember how badly that went for Pat Cummins? The best thing to do with him is to just treat him normally, like they would anyone else. When he is fit and ready, he comes back. But by all means they can work on his technique if that is causing injuries.

  • Winsome on May 5, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    Harris is such an important member of the team, he and Johnson are easily the best opening team we've had since McGrath. Mitch won't be as comfortable without Harris in the line-up. Be interesting to see how he goes in Pakistan. Could be almost anyone opening the bowling with him. Just hope it isn't Starc as he can be in Mitch's league for losing it.

  • dunger.bob on May 5, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Damn these injuries! Harris is a bigger loss than Patto imo, but it would be nice to have a full array of fast bowlers to pick from wouldn't it. As long as he's refreshed and lively once again Siddle can cover Pattinson but I'm not sure who covers Harris. Being the UAE, someone who can take the pace off the ball and cut it around might be an option. Actually, that sounds like Watson but I meant someone other than him. Sayers?

    @ IndianInnerEdge: "the day when we unearth someone of genuine speed and test class(and thatz gonna happen sooner than later)" .. Absolutely mate. It's bound to happen. If we could somehow unearth one of the greatest spinners to ever grace the game, India can most certainly produce a fast bowling freak. It nearly has to be a statistical certainty. As you say though, it might be like what happens when the dog finally catches the car. It comes as such a surprise he doesn't know what the hell to do with it now he's finally got it!

  • landl47 on May 5, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    That's a great shame. He's a very promising bowler and it's sad to see him sidelined.

    With Harris and Johnson turning 35 and 33 respectively by the start of the next Aussie season, the young guys need to be coming through.

  • on May 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Most of them Aussie fast bowling arsenal is to be 'cottonwooled' as porcelain which is certainly not the ideal platform to retain the No. 1 ranking - it is going to be a very tenuous rein at the top1

  • IndianInnerEdge on May 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Would be a pity if he went the Shane bond way, hoping his body holds up and he comes back giving his all. Kudos to CA for having at least a plan to handle such talent. I shudder to think of the day when we unearth someone of genuine speed and test class(and thatz gonna happen sooner than later) and none of the characters that run indian cricket has a clue about how to manage this.

  • Mervo on May 5, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    T20 is barely cricket and is a disaster for good fast bowlers. Best to use a bowling machine at each end and see who wins.

  • on May 5, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Gees, I'd been hoping that Patto, Cummins and Starc would all be fit for the start of the 14/15 season. Depth is great but even better when they are all fit! It's going to be a great contest between our bowling and the Indian batting, can't wait!

  • Meety on May 5, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Patto should definately not be playing 20/20 cricket FULLSTOP.

    Cricket Australia have the perfect vehicle to bring players back into action during the BBL - Futures League. They should be scheduling Futures League matches right thru the BBL & draft fringe test players into those squads - bringing the standard up near FC level. The BBL could function without Test players, a fair % of the crowds really dont care who is hitting the 6s or taking the wickets!

    Indian punters dont really care either!

  • xtrafalgarx on May 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Pattinson and Cummins are big worries. We can only hope that they can be fit and running very soon and have good, long careers for Australia.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • xtrafalgarx on May 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Pattinson and Cummins are big worries. We can only hope that they can be fit and running very soon and have good, long careers for Australia.

  • Meety on May 5, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Patto should definately not be playing 20/20 cricket FULLSTOP.

    Cricket Australia have the perfect vehicle to bring players back into action during the BBL - Futures League. They should be scheduling Futures League matches right thru the BBL & draft fringe test players into those squads - bringing the standard up near FC level. The BBL could function without Test players, a fair % of the crowds really dont care who is hitting the 6s or taking the wickets!

    Indian punters dont really care either!

  • on May 5, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Gees, I'd been hoping that Patto, Cummins and Starc would all be fit for the start of the 14/15 season. Depth is great but even better when they are all fit! It's going to be a great contest between our bowling and the Indian batting, can't wait!

  • Mervo on May 5, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    T20 is barely cricket and is a disaster for good fast bowlers. Best to use a bowling machine at each end and see who wins.

  • IndianInnerEdge on May 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Would be a pity if he went the Shane bond way, hoping his body holds up and he comes back giving his all. Kudos to CA for having at least a plan to handle such talent. I shudder to think of the day when we unearth someone of genuine speed and test class(and thatz gonna happen sooner than later) and none of the characters that run indian cricket has a clue about how to manage this.

  • on May 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Most of them Aussie fast bowling arsenal is to be 'cottonwooled' as porcelain which is certainly not the ideal platform to retain the No. 1 ranking - it is going to be a very tenuous rein at the top1

  • landl47 on May 5, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    That's a great shame. He's a very promising bowler and it's sad to see him sidelined.

    With Harris and Johnson turning 35 and 33 respectively by the start of the next Aussie season, the young guys need to be coming through.

  • dunger.bob on May 5, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Damn these injuries! Harris is a bigger loss than Patto imo, but it would be nice to have a full array of fast bowlers to pick from wouldn't it. As long as he's refreshed and lively once again Siddle can cover Pattinson but I'm not sure who covers Harris. Being the UAE, someone who can take the pace off the ball and cut it around might be an option. Actually, that sounds like Watson but I meant someone other than him. Sayers?

    @ IndianInnerEdge: "the day when we unearth someone of genuine speed and test class(and thatz gonna happen sooner than later)" .. Absolutely mate. It's bound to happen. If we could somehow unearth one of the greatest spinners to ever grace the game, India can most certainly produce a fast bowling freak. It nearly has to be a statistical certainty. As you say though, it might be like what happens when the dog finally catches the car. It comes as such a surprise he doesn't know what the hell to do with it now he's finally got it!

  • Winsome on May 5, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    Harris is such an important member of the team, he and Johnson are easily the best opening team we've had since McGrath. Mitch won't be as comfortable without Harris in the line-up. Be interesting to see how he goes in Pakistan. Could be almost anyone opening the bowling with him. Just hope it isn't Starc as he can be in Mitch's league for losing it.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 5, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    It is not like there is a shortage of quality Australian fast bowlers, and, right now, Pattinson is not in the top 4. No need to keep him out of action, etc. Remember how badly that went for Pat Cummins? The best thing to do with him is to just treat him normally, like they would anyone else. When he is fit and ready, he comes back. But by all means they can work on his technique if that is causing injuries.