Australia in West Indies 2012 April 21, 2012

Pattinson may be saved for A tour ahead of Ashes


James Pattinson's likely return to fitness in time for Australia's ODI visit to England and Ireland may not be enough to get him on the trip, as the national selectors ponder whether to afford him a more comprehensive pre-Ashes scouting visit on an Australia A tour of the UK later.

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur revealed that secondary assessments of Pattinson's back injury, sustained in the field during the second Test against West Indies, indicated a probable recovery time of a little more than a month, meaning he is a strong chance to be available for the ODI tour, which begins with a warm-up against Leicester at Grace Road on June 21. Peter Siddle will have a similar recovery time from his back complaint, though the selectors have indicated a reluctance to use him in ODIs after an outstanding Test summer.

"Initial results did [make me question Pattinson's availability], the secondary results were that once our medical staff had looked at it in Melbourne and came back they were a lot more positive," Arthur said. "It is virtually the same at this stage as what Sidds has got, which means it's four or five weeks instead of three months in terms of a stress fracture. So that, I must put a little asterisk next to it, is the information we have at present. I think we'll know a lot more once Sidds and Patto get back to Melbourne and go through examinations there."

Cricket Australia's longer-term planning for the next Ashes series may yet see Pattinson given more time off before he and other possible 2013 Ashes tourists take part in an Australia A tour of England later in the northern summer. Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Ben Cutting and Josh Hazlewood are others likely to be considered for the tour, which will afford them valuable experience of first-class bowling in England a year out from the Ashes.

The Australia A expedition runs parallel to Arthur's desire for a wide range of young bowlers to be utilised in limited-overs cricket between now and the 2015 World Cup, as he gathers a squad of cricketers with plenty of relevant ODI experience ahead of the game's showpiece tournament. Reflecting on his time as coach of South Africa, Arthur said Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were commonly rotated in and out of the limited-overs side until tournaments or series reached their most critical junctures.

"I think you've seen that more and more through the summer, it's impossible for guys to play with that intensity all the time," Arthur said. "Often Morne and Dale didn't play together in teams so we'd use one here, one here and then when it came to the big game we'd use them all.

"We tried to replicate that through our summer. We wanted to get off to a good start and then through the middle phases we tried some players and had a look at different options and rested some players. Then we felt come the final time we had our best possible team available, fit, rested, both mentally and physically and ready to go for the end of the summer. We put a lot of time and effort into trying to manage it and we'll continue to do that."

Australia's fitness and medical staff has remained unchanged since the 2010-11 Ashes series, a rare facet of CA operations not to have felt the full force of the Argus review, which instituted a raft of personnel and procedural changes around Australian cricket. The team's physios and doctors are now accountable to the performance manager Pat Howard, and Arthur said they and the developmental staff employed at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane were working assiduously to reduce the number of injuries sustained by the nation's fast bowlers.

"Look, whether we like it or not we're going to keep picking up injuries to our quick bowlers - bowling is a bit of an unnatural thing. So that's going to happen, we've just got to learn to manage it," Arthur said. "What's going on at the CoE I think our sports scientists are all over it, they're giving us a lot of information. One thing I'd like to reiterate is yes they're giving us information but ultimately the call lies with the captain, coach and selectors as to how far we take and use that information.

"Our CoE have been very proactive, they're looking at all sorts of ways to prevent it and all sorts of workload issues. I'm comfortable that we're exploring every avenue in that and I just think it is the nature of the art of bowling. Peter Siddle came into the tour, his workloads were exactly where our medical staff wanted them. He'd played a lot of four-day cricket coming into the series [for Victoria]. James Pattinson we worked on through the whole one-day series, he was right on course in terms of his workload.

"Patto's young, we're still going to see him breaking down a little bit, that's going to be the nature of it. Sidds is probably bearing the effects of a pretty rigorous summer where he bowled a huge amount in Test cricket. Their preparation, we couldn't have done anything more or anything less around that. They had the numbers, the workloads, they had everything, and it's just disappointing that we've lost both of them now."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matt on April 24, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Who the hell is Mitchell Johnson?

  • Anupam on April 24, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    s.marsh, klinger, bailey, voges, cosgrove, mcdonald/white ,hartley, coulter nile, starc, mckay, casson

  • Roo on April 24, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    @LesGrossman... Agree on Bailey, he is much more than just a batsman, his captaincy skills are probably the best in SS bringing an average team to the top of Shield & OD'ers over the last few years... Compare the players in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA with Tassie & they have out performed their much more fanciful opposition across both formats... His ability on the seaming Tas pitches must be a factor for duties against Eng...

  • Roo on April 24, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    @LesGrossman... Nice to read a good reply - agree with much you say... I think Burns is a prospect that needs more higher reps to show us his skills - he's done well so far in FC from the games I've seen... Surprised no one picks up Tom Coopers growing form - who like Klinger has to play every 2nd match away from Adelaide & have some of their best scores away from home... Also agree about MJ at Test level - just hasn't followed through with any consistency... Re: Aust A - the NSP have already given this years AIS (CoE) squad, with many having a chance at being in the Eng A tour this winter -- Burns, Finch, Hughes, Lynn, Maddinson, M Marsh, Paine, Patterson, S Smith... Bowlers include Bird, NC-N, Cummins - though I think Cutting, Butterworth would be good in Eng conditions...

  • Mark on April 24, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Bailey, I will concede, think he maybe starting to show his full promise, Dan Christian (can bat, just don't confuse him with the slogger we see in T20's and one dayers), David Hussey (yes he's old, but always makes runs, needs rewarding), Andrew McDonald (big fan since I saw him hit 160 off about 90 balls in a shield game) and as a roughie Peter Handscomb. Like the kid big time, he'll open for Oz in 3-4 years. I think the current aussie batting line up is where it should be,they are the best we have but needs better coaching. The bowlers got better coaching under Craig McDermott and now that is a real strength. The batting coaching needs to be simpler, modern batting coaching goes away from the basics of watch the ball and play each ball on it's merit. All McDermott did was tell the bowlers to pitch it up and bowl at the top of off stump. I know this as I still play grade cricket with and against state players and when you talk batting with them they over complicate a simple task.

  • Mark on April 23, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    @ zenboomerang, when it comes to to mitchell johnson I was discussing test cricket, not ODI's and T20's. You cannot hide the facts that his test stats were woeful for 3 years, not just for a "few matches" as AKS286 stated. Klinger has good stats, although he does bat on the easily the flattest track in Oz, Cowan has better stats on tougher decks the last 2 years, he will be ok. As for voges, I'm from WA and watch a lot of shield cricket, he used to nick off to gully 2 out of 3 innings, but this season he changed his game to cover the line better and had a good year, but needs to back up again. His career is one good season, then one average season. Jaques, well he last played test cricket 4 YEARS AGO, so if we were debating his selection 3 years ago, I would agree. He has NOT PERFORMED the last 2 seasons for NSW, FACT! Batters that need a look in for 'A' tour are Quiney, Liam Davis (needs another good season though), Joe Burns (young guy, can play), Forrest, Nevill (under rated)...

  • Anupam on April 23, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @LesGrossman a/c to you all are bad then tell us whose left?

  • Anupam on April 23, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    @LesGrossman johnson played few matches not up to the mark but tell me any player who never face poor performance in their life? johnson batting is better compare to any tailender in this world. johnson is having speed, variety. he is still Oz best strike bowler in all format. if Oz will travel to asian pitch then pattinson, hilfy,cummins, harris will do nothing and lyon is like school boy for asian teams.mitch performance against asian teams are great. hilfy is the best example for bounce back from poor form. adam voges is having best technique, temperament and foot work. voges is best suited in middle order. klinger, roger can replace cowan. ;ook at the international stats of JAQUES.

  • Roo on April 23, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @jmcilhinney... Yes many forget about Onions - one of those v.g. players that is not considered a 1st pick due to the quality around him... Reminds me of our current selector Andy Bichel(@y.o.33) that was dumped early in 2004 along with Michael Bevan (@y.o.33) - & people complain about our current selectors... lol... What Oz could do with a Bevan in our current Test team - a good chinaman bowler who averaged 24 with a SR of 44 & a handy batsman under pressure that never panicked...

  • Roo on April 23, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @LesGrossman... I think MJ has a future in ODI's & possibly T20... Both MJ & Bollinger have done well for Oz in this format & shouldn't be discarded without a fair go when both are available & fit... Also Klinger (31) isn't "mid 30's" - if so what does that make Ponting & Hussey?... Klinger could easily play for 4/5 years at FC level... You & the NSP obviously have different outlooks for our near future teams - perhaps put up your Oz & Oz A teams so we can discuss it?...

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