Australia in NZ 2015-16 February 18, 2016

Ready-to-go Pattinson buoyed by Christchurch pitch

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'Starting to feel good with my action and physically' - Pattinson

James Pattinson is licking his lips at the prospect of returning to Australia's Test team on a pitch that should offer him - and his sore shins - some assistance. Pattinson appears almost certain to replace the injured Peter Siddle for the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch after he bowled in the nets on Thursday and came through the session seemingly unscathed.

He had been ruled out of the first Test in Wellington as the selectors were not convinced his body would stand up to the rigours of a Test match after he had spent much of the previous month sidelined by shin soreness. Pattinson had returned for Victoria two weeks ago but bowled only 21.3 overs in a Sheffield Shield game before Cricket Australia withdrew him and flew him to New Zealand.

But instead of playing him in the Test, Australia chose to keep Pattinson training in the Basin Reserve nets to prove that he could get through a full match with the view to having him available at Hagley Oval. As it happened, his workload in the nets was even higher than that of Jackson Bird, Mitchell Marsh and Siddle in the Test win.

"I got through a fair bit, I think I bowled close to 35 overs last week in the nets, which is a substantial amount in the nets," Pattinson said in Christchurch on Thursday. "So I'm full of confidence now, knowing I can get through this game and it was pleasing - because in the nets I probably bowled the best I have over the last six months. I'm starting to feel really good with my action and physically I felt really good too.

"I've had sore shins for a while. With the grounds in Australia the wickets have been really hard. I've had sore shins for most of the year and it probably just got a little bit worse. So I think with shins it's just about managing them. If you do keep playing with them, they can turn into fractures, which is something I didn't want to happen. So it's about managing them and now I'm feeling really good."

Pattinson looked fired up while bowling in the Basin Reserve nets before the Wellington Test, bouncing several of the Australian batsmen, but nothing could convince the selectors to take a punt on him and they opted instead for Siddle and Bird. Pattinson said he understood why the decision had been made, and the plan had always been for him to aim for full fitness by the second Test.

"I was a little bit sore," he said. "I probably thought I could have tried to get through but again being the first Test of the series - we sort of sat down before, when I first started back planning. I probably was trying to aim for the second Test and then if we got the first Test it'd be a bonus. So being the first Test in a big series, we just took the cautious approach.

"It wasn't ideal when Sidds went down and it wouldn't have been good if I played and went down in the first Test as well, having two down. So it's probably worked out really well for us ... I'm ready to go. I had a good workout in the nets last week. Ready to go, feeling really good and excited if I get the call-up."

Pattinson was productive in the home Test summer after coming in for the series against West Indies and collecting 13 wickets at 22.46, not that there was significant assistance for Australia's bowlers on the flat home pitches this season. They found some sideways movement on the green Basin Reserve pitch on the first morning and Pattinson has no problem with New Zealand coach Mike Hesson asking for an even greener surface at Hagley Oval.

"As fast bowlers we've had to work hard for our wickets over the last six months in Australia, the wickets have been quite flat," Pattinson said. "We come over here and we've got some green wickets. We're licking our lips, which is great. I know all the bowlers are pretty pumped and I think the green wicket should play into our hands pretty well, hopefully."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Merv on February 19, 2016, 3:31 GMT

    NZ will have to make another real seaming green top and then pray they win the toss this time. It is a big gamble that could again backfire as Smith is due a few toss wins. If they make a flat pitch then they will lose anyway.

  • blahblah1234567_9F5B2346-4AB1-446E-A1A0-77E2268CE43B on February 18, 2016, 22:07 GMT

    nows the time to spot those no balls Mr. umpire

  • Peter on February 18, 2016, 12:43 GMT

    Bird was undercooked in test 1 no doubt about it. But now that Bird has had more time in the oven he should be just right in test 2. All poultry needs sustained heat to come good

  • Prasanna on February 18, 2016, 11:27 GMT

    Hope Patto does well. Meanwhile, just read a quote on CricInfo that Hagley Oval's groundsman would like to provide a sporting wicket than the one NZ wants. So would it be on the lines as BR ?

  • AMAR on February 18, 2016, 9:32 GMT

    i agree with Grant Sansom-Sherwil.bird not performing well in 1st test but he is good bowler and deliver his work.i also want chadd sayer back in test squad, but james pattinson perform well in place of siddle.

  •   Grant Sansom-Sherwill on February 18, 2016, 7:12 GMT

    With Siddle being injured it makes it look as though Pattinson is only in the team for the 2nd test because of that. He would have been in anyway - in the place of Jackson Bird. Bird did not have a great 1st test and looked quite innocuous. I would bring Chadd Sayers in for Bird in the 2nd test, that's how spare Bird looked.

  • Phil on February 18, 2016, 6:22 GMT

    When he is on, Pattinson is as dangerous as anyone with the red ball... I expect him to be a regular in the team, even when Starc & Cummins come back from injury. Just imagine what the bowling attack will be when all are fully fit. Starc, Hazlewood, Pattinson/Cummins, Lyon, M Marsh.

  • Lakpriya on February 18, 2016, 5:16 GMT

    Pretty Amazed with the fast bowling depth of Aus. even after injuries for 3 front-line quicks like Starc, Siddle and Cummings, they still have a guy like Pattinson to call on. Having 6,7 quality fast bowlers always makes a team strong and increase competition. Only Aus and to some extent NZ have that luxury at the moment.

  • kieran on February 18, 2016, 4:08 GMT

    Hopefully this a new beginning for Pattinson; he's done the rehab work and modified his action, now it's time to let rip. He's right about the pitches, for the last few years they've just been too hard and too flat, and watching guys like Johnson & Harris struggle to get any lift or movement off them has been tough (and tougher on them). With good pace and late swing Pattinson has a good skill set for most conditions, I'm sure Christchurch will be kind to him.

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