Hardened James Pattinson steps up his return

James Pattinson leaves for India this week believing his body has been sufficiently hardened following a variety of recent challenges – and his potency undiminished by them – and confident he will soon force his way back into the Australian team.
杭州桑拿

The Victorian fast bowler joins the 50-over leg of an Australia A tour of the sub-continent feeling upbeat that a remodelled, side-on action adopted in a bid to avoid further back stress fractures hasn’t dulled either his pace or ability to swing the ball away from right-hand batsmen.

A strong showing in India would leave the 25-year-old well-placed to join the first-choice team at the tail-end of the Ashes series, when Australia plays England in a late-August T20 and five one-day internationals in the first fortnight of September.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve spent pretty much the whole time in Brisbane training up there (at the National Performance Centre), playing some games, then coming back here this week to prepare to head off to India,” Pattinson said.

“It’s been a fair while, obviously with injuries the last couple of years haven’t been great. But I’ve done some good work, with my body I’m comfortable with where I’m at. Hopefully I can go over there and play some good cricket.”

Pattinson first suffered stress fractures at the end of Australia’s last tour of England two years ago and a recurrence in his only subsequent Test, in Cape Town 18 months ago. Changes to his action geared to prevent further problems led to hamstring issues; he has played just three first-class games for Victoria since.

“Last year I was probably still thinking about my action,” he said. “Obviously when you do make changes it affects other parts of your body – with those changes I made my hamstring went. I’ve done a fair bit of work trying to strengthen that up as well.

“I’m trying not to think about my action too much, just let it go. I’m really comfortable with that. It’s just about playing games now and getting some consistency.”

Concerns that a more side-on delivery stride would imperil his outswinger are yet to be realised, while Pattinson said his pace was “getting better” and he was confident it would continue to increase as he found the rhythm that will come with regular cricket.

“I’m still swinging it in the nets which is a good sign. More so I’ve just gotta make sure I finish off a bit more now that I am side-on. Hopefully it won’t affect my outswinger; it hasn’t yet.”

Pattinson said he hadn’t been available for selection when Pat Cummins, who was training alongside him in Brisbane, was called up to replace Ryan Harris at the start of the Ashes. “My loads weren’t high enough, I had to pass a few tests with my hamstring as well,” he said, adding that all boxes have since been ticked.

He reported having been up until the tea break most nights during the first two Tests and enjoying watching Australia’s fast bowlers attack the England batsmen. With patience and perseverance, he hopes he can be back with them for many years to come.

“Hopefully now that I’ve tipped over the other side of 20 I can stay on the park and get some good luck.”

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