Fast bowler James Pattinson has revealed he asked Australia's selectors not to consider him for an international return against India after a string of injuries that have left him wary of rushing his latest comeback.
Pattinson, 26, has broken down while playing for Australia no fewer than four times since his debut in 2011, twice after returning with minimal cricket behind him. He told RSN Radio he had asked the selectors to let him play a sequence of Sheffield Shield matches this time around before factoring him into Test plans. The panel had sent Pat Cummins to India in an audacious attempt to wrest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from India
"I had a chat with the selectors before this series, saying that I just wanted to really get through this Shield season," Pattinson said. "I know the last two times I've done something like this, flown over to a series where it's in the balance and there's the potential of me bowling close to 40, 50 overs, which I have - in South Africa in 2014 I did it, and then last year I did the same thing in New Zealand, going in with not a lot of cricket, and it hasn't really turned out very well for me.
"We didn't want to make that same mistake again, because at 26, if I went over there and did my back again or something, it would be not an ideal thing for the third time. It was one thing that I didn't want to do, and the selectors and physios weren't too keen on trying to rush me back this time. They've given me the best possible chance of getting back and playing three, four, five Shield games and getting confidence in my body this way."
Pattinson empathised with Cummins' eagerness to play in India, and recalled his own attitude as a younger man when the risk of injury seemed a small price to pay next to the chance to play Test matches.
"It's a hard thing - when you've got the talent of Pat Cummins, it's a hard thing, especially when the series is 1-1," he said. "And that's the thing that I saw the time when I went to South Africa, and last year, you want to do everything you possibly can for your country and help win, and you don't care if you get injured.
"That's the sort of thing I've done in the past, and now that I'm a bit older, you can't really afford to do my back again and have another year off at this age. I'm sure Pat will go over and do well and who knows, he'll probably be fine. But that was the risk that I've taken over the last couple of years and it hasn't paid off, so it didn't want to do that again."
It has been reported that Pattinson is in line to replace his fellow Victorian Peter Siddle as the overseas player for Nottinghamshire in English county competition later this year.