Victoria quick James Pattinson has revealed he asked Australia selectors not to consider him for the Qantas tour of India, fearing a premature return to Test cricket could result in a recurrence of the injuries that have plagued his career.
Pattinson has been bowling with impressive pace and collected 14 wickets in just three matches since making his Sheffield Shield return last month, but it was fellow quick Pat Cummins who selectors called upon when Mitchell Starc was ruled out of the remainder of the four-Test series in India due to a foot injury last week.
Quick single: Pattinson bowling 'better than ever'
"I had a chat with the selectors before this series, saying that I just wanted to really get through this Shield season," Pattinson told RSN radio.
"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."
While Pattinson is wary about rushing his return, 23-year-old Cummins has no such qualms about the likelihood he'll line up in Australia's XI when the third Test gets underway in Ranchi, saying on Tuesday he felt he was "easily the most prepared that I’ve been for a Test match".
Pattinson said he could understand Cummins' eagerness to return to the Baggy Green.
"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," Pattinson 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."
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While Pattinson is happy to wait until next summer's Ashes to make his Test return, he has stated that getting matches under his belt will be crucial to a Test return.
"It's a hard job. I'm getting to that age where I just need to play cricket,” Pattinson said in Melbourne last month.
"I'm hoping I can play all these Shield games (for the rest of the season) and can get a lot of cricket under my belt."
To that end, Pattinson is reportedly set to join Nottinghamshire for a stint in the County Championship in the upcoming season, meaning he will get plenty of cricket under his belt through the Australian winter.
India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.
Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade
Australia's schedule in India
Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune - Australia won by 333 runs.
Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru - India won by 75 runs.
Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi
Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala