In-form Pattinson closing in on Big Bash switch
One of the leading bowlers in the IPL so far, the Australian paceman is close to signing a new deal with the Melbourne Renegades
7 October 2020, 08:44 PM AEST
The Melbourne Renegades are set to capitalise on James Pattinson's red-hot IPL form, with the paceman close to signing a long-term deal to return to his first BBL club.
Pattinson has been one of the surprise packets of the Indian Premier League so far and sits fourth on the wicket-taker's list after he earned a late call-up to replace Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga.
A return to Melbourne for this BBL season has been rumoured for much of the year and cricket.com.au understands the Victorian is set to sign a three-year deal to re-join the Renegades, who he last played for in 2017.
Pattinson will follow Ben Cutting and Matt Renshaw out the door at the Brisbane Heat, and it's understood he won't be the last key player to depart the Queensland club in the off-season.
Brisbane, who have made the play-offs once in the past seven seasons, have already recruited Tom Cooper and Jack Wildermuth from the Renegades.
The Renegades may well benefit from a unique international schedule this season where Pattinson could be caged up for much of the summer before being unleashed at the back end of the BBL.
The 30-year-old is likely to be part of an extended Australian Test squad throughout December and January, which would mean he won't be available for the Renegades until the Tests against India are expected to finish in mid-January.
Unlike in previous seasons when Australia's reserve players have been released from international duty during Tests to play in the BBL, a summer of bio-secure bubbles means those not picked in Australia's final XI will likely have to stay with the national squad.
And given Pattinson is no guarantee to be picked in the Test XI ahead of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc – he only got a Test chance last summer when Hazlewood was injured – it could mean he'll unleash weeks of pent-up energy on some unfortunate BBL batsmen when the Tests are over and he's cleared to return to the domestic ranks.
The schedule for the BBL and international season will be finalised once state government approval is granted, but the recent postponement of Australia's ODI series against New Zealand means Test stars like Pattinson should be available for the final few weeks of the Big Bash, including finals.
Pattinson has been a crucial part of a dominant pace attack for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, taking nine wickets in six games alongside Indian star Jasprit Bumrah (11 wickets) and Kiwi left-armer Trent Boult (10).
While Pattinson's ability to take wickets has never been questioned, his economy rate of 7.72 is better than those of his Mumbai pace teammates and well down on his career mark of 8.18.
Apart from a forgettable outing against RCB when he conceded 0-51 from his four overs, he's taken at least one wicket in each game and conceded less than 30 runs on each occasion.
He took 2-19 in Mumbai's thumping win over Steve Smith's Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday, including the wicket of English star Jos Buttler.
"It's just fantastic to work with some of the best bowlers in the world,” Pattinson said recently.
"Obviously, Bumrah is probably the best T20 bowler in the world and Boulty is up there as well. So, for me it will be a great experience to be around those guys."