Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Pattinson realistic of pace attack pecking order
Victorian unsure whether he'll play in Brisbane given the potent pace battery that's been selected
Louis Cameron at the MCG
14 November 2019, 07:59 PM AEST
He's fully fit and his bowling is as potent as ever, but James Pattinson believes he will have to wait just a little longer to play his first Test on home soil in almost four years.
Pattinson was named in a five-bowler strong pace battery for the two-Test series against Pakistan after a successful return to the top flight during the Ashes and a subsequent injury-free start to the domestic season.
The Victorian had worked his way ahead of both Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to play the opening Test of the Ashes in August, but he believes he'll be hard pressed to unseat either of them for next Thursday's Domain series opener at the Gabba.
Along with Test locks Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon, Starc and Hazlewood bowled New South Wales to a comprehensive victory on a parched SCG surface in the Marsh Sheffield Shield this week.
"There's some other great bowlers in there who dismantled Western Australia during the week," Pattinson told reporters at stumps on day three of Victoria's clash with Queensland at the MCG.
"It will be pretty tough to get a gig in that team, but it's just great to be in the squad.
"I think those three (Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood) will probably get the first look in. If I just stay fit, I think it's a good position for Australian cricket to be in with a number of bowlers staying on the park and continuing to play some cricket.
"There's nothing like playing a home summer … hopefully that chance will come at some stage."
Pattinson did admit selectors had given him no indication as to where he stands in the pecking order.
Even if he does miss the Brisbane Test, the 29-year-old will likely get his chance at some stage during the summer should Australia's policy of rotating their star fast bowlers (a strategy they successfully employed during the Ashes) continues.
"It's just a game-to-game basis depending on how they (the other bowlers) pull up," said Pattinson. "If I'm just there staying fit, bowling well and putting my name forward, hopefully at some stage I'll get the nod."
Uncapped Queenslander Michael Neser is the other quick in the 14-man squad and selection chief Trevor Hohns suggested on Thursday he could come into contention for the second Test at Adelaide Oval, to be played with a pink ball under lights.
Pattinson took five wickets at 33.40 in his two Tests against England, playing a key role in their first-up win at Edgbaston but then failing (along with Hazlewood, Lyon and Cummins) to stop Ben Stokes in his astonishing heist at Headingley.
Getting through the tour without suffering a major injury was a win in itself for Pattinson, who has suffered through a tumultuous series of back issues since making his Test debut in 2011 and electing to undergo radical surgery in 2017.
He's credited the operation with saving his international career, but having made an incident-free return to the highest level he has now set his sights on stringing more back-to-back games together.
"It's funny because as I've gotten older I feel like my body is holding together better, but I'm getting sorer (after bowling)," said Pattinson, who has taken four wickets across the first three days of the ongoing Shield match. "I was into my 40th over there (for the match) and still charging in, which is good signs.
Speaking on Monday, he added: "The next process for me now is, if I do get the chance in the Test arena, is the chance to play more back-to-back cricket.
"Coming into the team and being out for three years, the next process is to play more back-to-back cricket. I've been injury-free for the best part of a year now and the body is feeling good. Hopefully that's the next progression.
"When you see the batters, they're playing all the time and getting into a rhythm. As a bowler it's hard because you're always stopping and going, stopping and going. Hopefully that next process is playing consistent cricket."
Domain Test Series v Pakistan
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
Warm-up match: Australia A v Pakistan, match drawn
Warm-up match: v Cricket Australia XI, November 15-16, WACA Ground
First Test: November 21-25, Gabba (Seven, Fox & Kayo)