July 17, 2017

'You get a lot of satisfaction when you bowl fast'

The Aussie with an English family, James Pattinson, talks about the importance of having a little mongrel, among other things

James Pattinson holds up the ball after taking a five-for against West Indies in Hobart, 2015 © AFP

You took 5 for 27 on Test debut and won Man of the Match, but you have missed a lot of cricket since then. Has that been tough to deal with?
It's obviously frustrating to be injured, but I've had the opportunity to play Test cricket - close to 20 Tests - and I'm still only 27, which is quite young, so that's a positive. When you're thrown into Test cricket at such a young age, it's always going to be hard on the body, but hopefully I can get some consistent form and have a good run at it now. You have to try and take the positives out of negatives sometimes, and hopefully the fact that I haven't played a lot of Test cricket might help me at the back end of the career. It's been good to get out there for Notts and help put some consistency back in my game.

Who were your fast-bowling heroes growing up?
I loved watching Dale Steyn bowl. Then getting to play against him was something pretty special - seeing the way he moves and goes about things. And obviously, being an Australian, seeing Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath bowl in tandem was pretty exciting.

What did you think when your brother got picked for England? Was that weird? Did he cop a bit from you?
Not really. I was pretty excited for him. He's a class bowler, but he took a different path to what I did in terms of not playing first-class cricket till he was in his late twenties. But he's always had the talent. It was just about whether he wanted to do it enough. Obviously playing over here and being English - he was dominating that year, so he was in the right place at the right time, although something he didn't really expect would happen.

"With my family being English, we watched a lot of footie growing up. And I'm a Man United fan. Beckham was pretty much my hero growing up"

Darren went roofer-cricketer-greyhound trainer. If you were going to get into an unusual career after retirement, what would it be?
I'd probably go into the building industry. I'm doing some study at the moment.

Do you keep an eye on the speed gun when you're bowling?
Not really. Try not to. You just try to feel if you're in good rhythm. There's a lot of talk about people bowling fast, but most fast bowlers bowl fast when they're really relaxed and have good rhythm.

What's the best spell you've bowled so far?
Obviously getting that five-for on debut, helping to win a Test match, was pretty rewarding.

You look like you're fond of a sledge. Who has copped the biggest serve from you?
I wouldn't say anyone's really copped a serve. I just like to show that I'm there. I think that batters have it pretty easy these days, don't they, with the wickets and the size of the bats, so you've got to make it difficult for them. I've always been competitive. Once you get out on the field, you try and give everything. My brother was the same. Sometimes you do push the line, but you don't try to: you want to win the game of cricket and that's what happens.

Pattinson drives on his way to 80 in the 2016-17 Shield final © Getty Images

What's the most important quality for a fast bowler?
I think it's a mixture. You've got to have aggression. A lot of the best fast bowlers have been quite in your face. Then the will to win - the desire to win - is something you need to have. It's a hard job to come in on the last day of a Test match and your body's sore and you've got to try and get ten wickets. Bowlers are the ones that win you games, so you've got to have that bit of mongrel in you to want to do that. That's probably why you get a lot of satisfaction when you bowl fast: taking ten wickets on the last day is one of those great feelings.

Who's your best mate in cricket?
I've got a few, but probably John Hastings from Victoria. I lived with him when I was 18 and he's been there right through my career. Then there's my brother as well.

You're flying long-haul to the UK for an Ashes tour. Which team-mate do you not want to be sat next to on the plane?
You don't really get to sit next to anyone nowadays: you're in business class. But probably James Faulkner.

If you were picking a World XI, who would be first name on the team sheet?
Probably Virat Kohli.

"There's a lot of talk about people bowling fast, but most fast bowlers bowl fast when they're really relaxed and have good rhythm"

Australia has more than its fair share of deadly creatures. Have you ever had any run-ins or close shaves?
There's a few snakes on my brother's farm, where he trains his greyhounds. They're not too scary once you just let them go. Oh, I went barramundi fishing about a year ago near Darwin and we got chased by a big crocodile.

If you've got control of the team stereo, what's being played?
Miley Cyrus has a few good songs.

Which of your team-mates is a fashion car crash?
Luke Fletcher is still wearing fluoro orange Hugo Boss shirts from about 20 years ago.

Which of your team-mates is the most fun on a night out?
There's a fair few. Left-arm spinner from Victoria, Jon Holland, is one of the best circuiters. He's probably the most value.

Who's the last to the bar to buy a round of drinks?
Matthew Wade. He's tight as.

You're cooking to impress: what dish are you going for?

"It's been good to get out there for Notts and help put some consistency back in my game" © Getty Images

A few years ago Shane Warne copped a bit of flak for that "ultimate party" painting, featuring everyone from Jack Nicholson to JFK, Muhammad Ali to Michael Clarke, and Elvis to Dimi Mascarenhas. If you commissioned one, who'd be on it?
Probably David Beckham. With my family being English, we watched a lot of footie growing up. And I'm a Man United fan. He was pretty much my hero growing up.

An Ashes winter: have you forgiven your Notts new-ball partner, Stuart Broad, for not walking at Trent Bridge in 2013?
Oh yeah. If you get given out, then you walk. If not, you don't. But he's been fantastic to play with. But I'm looking forward to doing battle with him, hopefully, if I get the chance.

What's the best innings you've played?
I got 80 in the Shield final this year. We were in a little bit of trouble, and we went on to win, so that was pretty satisfying.

Would you be more nervous bowling the last over in a World Cup final with 10 to defend, or sitting on 99 not out at Lord's in an Ashes Test?
Definitely bowling. That would be pretty nerve-wracking.

Who's the best captain you have played under?
Either Cameron White or Ricky Ponting.

Whose wicket has given you the most pleasure?
Sachin Tendulkar at the SCG.

If you could be a professional at another sport, what would it be?
Football. English football.

Which rule in cricket would you love to change?
More than two bouncers per over.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring?
My wife, our dog, and a lot of food.

Scott Oliver tweets @reverse_sweeper

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • john on July 20, 2017, 10:46 GMT

    My argument is about double standards. When kohli and india scored heavily and drew a match with Johnson getting hit for runs suddenly the pitch is blamed. But when wickets fall, they're suddenly the best. this argument was about 150k bowlers namely Johnson hazelwoof stork vs philander morkel broad and anderson. Nothing to do with the World Cup. The reason why 150k bowlers work in australia is the ball carries much further, so when wicket sprayers bowl, they edge easily

  • rob on July 19, 2017, 13:53 GMT

    @ John: Formerly John-BNSA? What did SA blame in India then if it wasn't the pitches. I recall vein popping outrage at the pitches when your guys got rolled like bowls a couple of years ago. As an olive branch I'm happy to say you guys are superb travellers.

  • Paul on July 19, 2017, 13:15 GMT

    John if you mean 2015 in England for Hazlewood from memory I think he took about 16 wkts at 26, not groundbreaking but hardly a poor showing. Also your less than witty attempts at making fun of their names is a tad childish. SA beat Australia at home because they played better cricket than Australia and the pitches in the Indian series were dead,if you watched it you would probably know that but I don't think you did eh? Wow bitter and twisted.

  • stuart1000643 on July 19, 2017, 13:11 GMT

    John, one name mate: Glenn McGrath. Actually here are two more words, if you really are a SAFFER: World Cup.

  • john on July 19, 2017, 12:33 GMT

    What have Johnson, stork and hazelwoof done in England? Talking about bitter, it must not feel good when a 120kmph bowler out bowls a 150kmph in home conditions? Then the pitches are blamed just like ponting did in 2008 when despite Johnson's 8 wickets and 150kmph deliveries, they still chased down 414. The same thing happened in 2014, when Johnson and stork when for 5rpo against kohli, they blamed the pitch and conditions. Just goes to show you don't have to bowl at 150 to be a good bowler. Stork, Johnson, tait, all in the same category, that's why they bowl in short spells.

  • Paul on July 19, 2017, 11:37 GMT

    Out of interest JOHN, could you explain what you mean't about Hazlewood relying on home pitches for wickets?

  • Paul on July 19, 2017, 11:33 GMT

    One gets the impression that JOHN is a bitter and twisted Saffa.

  • john on July 19, 2017, 8:38 GMT

    The difference is that broad anderson philander morkel along with legends such as sir ambrose walsh, Marshall, holding garner croft etc can win matches in England and not blame the pitches or conditions

  • john on July 19, 2017, 8:25 GMT

    Muzzamil, yet philander Morris morkel steyn abbot all bowl at 130 odd, and still can bowl well all around the world unlike stork hazelwoof Johnson's 150kmph wicket spray.

  • Paul on July 19, 2017, 6:51 GMT

    @laksvi5642713, Potentially a potent quartet, but alas injuries have stopped this from happening. I've always thought that Hazlewood was going to be the best of this lot as his line and length seems to get better and better and Pattinson should make a fine test fast bowler. Starc and Cummins are both in my opinion purely wickettakers and will more than likely be inconsistent in comparison. Oh how i loved watching Holding bowl, so graceful and express pace.

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