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'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

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.
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?
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