West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 5th day

Siddle and Pattinson fly home with back injuries

Daniel Brettig in Port-of-Spain

April 19, 2012

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

James Pattinson played a vital hand with 31, West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, April 16, 2012
James Pattinson played an important hand with the bat but struggled with the ball © AFP
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Peter Siddle has flown home from Australia's tour of the West Indies and James Pattinson will follow him at the conclusion of the second Test in Trinidad after both were ruled out of the third Test, due to begin in Dominica on Monday.

Pattinson and Siddle, team-mates for club, state and country, have both complained of back trouble in the past week. Siddle's was at first described as "back stiffness" and emerged as he played in the first Test in Barbados, quickly ruling him out of the second.

He and the rested Ryan Harris were replaced as fast bowlers for the second match by Pattinson, who was playing his first Test since he suffered a foot stress injury during the second Test against India at the SCG in January. However Pattinson struggled for rhythm and left the field on the third afternoon following a throw from the outfield.

Siddle was not considered for Australia's ODI team following his Test match success against India as the national selectors wished to retain his full and aggressive style for the game's longest form, while also keeping him fresher physically. Australia's captain Michael Clarke said the loss of Siddle and Pattinson would be difficult to cover, but was glad Harris had been left in reserve alongside Mitchell Starc.

"Disappointing we lose two very good bowlers," Clarke said. "But Mitchell Starc comes into contention now as one of our fast bowlers or we have the option to play two spinners again. Ryan Harris freshens up, doesn't play this Test and he's fresh and ready to go for the next Test. We've still got some options, it's just about looking at conditions when we get there and see what our best attack is."

Clarke said Pattinson had shown no signs of discomfort until he threw while off balance in the field and immediately complained of back stiffness. "No back issues until he did that," Clarke said. "I walked up to him and asked how you going and he said 'I'm a little bit stiff', told him to go and see the physio and it didn't get much better from there. He was still stiff the next morning, had a scan and we didn't get the results until late last night.

"Got those results and the decision was made this morning on what his plans were because it's more positive than negative. Obviously it's disappointing that he's not going to be available for the third Test but the reality is, if he's not going to be fit for the third Test, our best option for both him and Peter is to put them on a plane and get them home and get them stuck into treatment ASAP so they're fit for our next tour."

Australia's physio on tour, Kevin Sims, said Siddle's scans had shown a "low back bone stress injury" while Pattinson's "acute low back pain" will require further diagnosis on his return to Australia.

"Peter Siddle developed some back soreness late in the first Test against the West Indies and scans conducted in Trinidad showed the early signs of a low back bone stress injury," Sims said. "He was subsequently ruled out of the second Test.

"After further consultation we feel that to prevent this injury developing any further it is in Peter's best interest for him to return to Australia to rest and for appropriate physiotherapy to ensure he is fully fit when next selected for Australian duties.

"James Pattinson had an episode of acute low back pain after fielding and throwing awkwardly late on day three of the second Test. We have since monitored his condition over the last couple of days and the initial investigations suggest that while the injury is not serious there is insufficient time for him to recover to play in the third Test match.

"As such, we have today made the decision for James to return to Australia to prevent this injury developing any further and for him to receive the appropriate medical and physiotherapy management."

Neither bowler will be replaced on tour, leaving Ben Hilfenhaus, Harris and Starc as Australia's only available pacemen for the third Test.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Aussasinator on (April 21, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

This happens basically when a guy who can bowl at 140 tries to cross 145k under peer pressure. Body is taxed beyond its normal capacity. Pat Cummins is gone for good as far as pace is concerned, so is Pattinson as could be seen from his comeback bowling speeds. Siddle needs a year long break before he can get to 140 plus which is anyway not a consistent speed for him. Hilfenhaus should last another six months without breakdown if he cleverly sticks to sub 140 speeds. Aussie bowlers try to surpass themselves in the pace dept and hence are paying the price. I suppose the same thing happened to a wannabe quick bowler called Shane watson and he has paid ( is paying the price). He's merely in the team because there are no better choices.

Posted by Meety on (April 21, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

@ zenboomerang "Paine may never play again" - is actually a heading from a SMH newspaper heading & the theme of a former test cricketer who claimed to have inside knowledge of Paine's situation. This very website ran article titled "Paine's future uncertain following further surgery". Not sure if my post regarding "Carnage in the Ozzy bowling ranks is at epic proportions" has been posted, you have quoted statistics that Howard claims to be cover "...Across all grades..." - something which in my capacity as a board member of my local cricket club for nearly five years would find near impossible to verify. Apart from the fact there is no record keeping in terms of why players are not selected from week to week, (unless they may be targeted for rep teams), the only other way of tracking that accross all grades is via insurance forms, which in my experience unless there is a broken limb, never get claimed on. (cric info pls publish)

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (April 21, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

I'm quite keen to see Starc back in this Test, I like the idea of a left arm fast bowler who isn't Johnson. International scheduling over-kill isn't helping. Since August 9 months have seen Tests against SL 3, SA 2, NZ 2, India 4 & now Windies 2 with another to come. There is an ODI tour of England in June but apart that I believe Australia don't play Tests again for over 6 months. In the face of this feast or famine bowler management is key and I think the best should become JUST Test bowlers and leave ODI's to oldtimers like Lee & up & comers like Coulter-Nile & Cutting. That said I'd use Pattinson, Cummins, Starc & maybe Cutting in the July longer form games for Australia A against the England Lions.

Posted by Moppa on (April 21, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

@Reece Agland, I don't think we can blame Siddle's injury on resting. Between the Adelaide Test in late January and the middle of March, Siddle bowled 112 overs for Victoria in all forms of cricket, which is more than any one bowler in the CB series. I imagine he would've bowled another 50+ in Melbourne grade cricket.

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 21, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

It's not a major deal because we have an embarassment of riches when it comes to fast bowlers. Any one fo Starc, Hazlewood, Cutting, Coulter-Nile, Butterworth, George could replace him. The list goes on!

Posted by tanstell87 on (April 21, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

@RandyOZ - how come Cummins is in top 3 international bowlers after playing only one test....Cummins was hit for 3 sixes in one over by India under 19 skipper Unmukut Chand that won India under 19 tournament in Australia....i would say Philander & Sunil Narine are find of international season 2011-12 !

Posted by tanstell87 on (April 21, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

i agree with Gupta Ankur......they are indeed delicate & yes Poms gonna beat them 5-0 next year !!!

Posted by Meety on (April 21, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

@zenbooemerang - also, lovely to see that you sage advice does not extend to yourself, this what I said about Paine on (February 21 2012, 01:33 AM GMT - "...at best - he'll be back next year, at worst retired. Probably won't keep early in the Shield next summer & play as a batsmen,..." - totally different context to your "quote"! ps: Never mentioned Harris anywhere, but since you brought him up, yes I would say he is INJURY PRONE, by the simple fact he fails to last an entire series without some problem. On the topic of misquoting,"...making up comments & misquoting others regularly..." (this is an ACTUAL quote), I have been commenting on this site for about 2 or 3 years, had many arguements & debates, & you are the only person who claims to have been misquoted by me. Perhaps you should use some more clarity of thought before putting fingertip to keyboard!!!!!

Posted by Meety on (April 21, 2012, 3:06 GMT)

@Gilly4ever - I think Hastings is still recovering from injury. He had a hiccup in the recovery process, so he'll struggle to be bowling by the start of the next Shield summer I would say. As for Copeland, he seems to be a good dependable bowler despite his lean frame. I think he needs to be close to the test team as I have a gut feel he would excel in English conditions.

Posted by Meety on (April 21, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

@ zenboomerang - following on from the previous post, clearly my refernce was to bowlers at or near International selection. Doing some analysis of the last 8 years, separated into TWO blocks of 4 years in Oz INTERNATIONAL cricket, it can be easily calculated that 36% of the ELEVEN fast bowlers we used between 2003 & 2007 had injury concerns, whereas the next 4 years the SIXTEEN pace bowlers we used - 68% had injury concerns. By injury concerns, I mean the probability that they are unable to play in a match as opposed to niggles which ALL pro-sports people play thru. My simple analysis, didn't go into grades nor inc Shield players on the verge of Test selection (like Coulter-Nile & Cutting or Cummins) either or some ODI players like Hazlewood. I even inc Starc as NOT having injury concerns despite only relatively recently returning from a major set back, for that matter I also inc Hilfenhaas as NOT an injury concern & did not inc Lee in the 2nd 4yr bracket at all.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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