Home summer Pattinson's time to shine: Paine
Australia captain expects Victorian tearaway to play key role in upcoming showdowns with Pakistan and New Zealand
Sam Ferris in London
12 September 2019, 10:42 AM AEST
While James Pattinson has played his last Test in the Ashes, expect to see the fiery quick "unleashed" this summer at home, says Australia captain Tim Paine.
Pattinson was overlooked for the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval as the selectors stuck solid with the Manchester attack of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Starc and Nathan Lyon, plus 12th man Peter Siddle.
The Victorian played in the first Test at Edgbaston and third Test in Leeds, capturing five wickets, but has been kept on ice with an eye on the home summer, when Pakistan (two) and New Zealand (three) visit for five Tests.
Prior to his comeback in Birmingham it had been three-and-a-half years since Pattinson played international cricket following a series of serious back injuries.
Australia's selectors have enjoyed the luxury of having six high-quality fast bowlers to choose from this series and they want it to stay that way by interchanging the pace attack to keep the quicks fit and fresh for years to come.
It is why Pattinson has been carefully managed in the Ashes, but expect the 29-year-old to be storming in off the long run on home soil.
"James Pattinson is someone who we've been really pleased with what he's done in his return to Test cricket over here," Paine said on Wednesday.
"He's bowling very, very well. He's going to be a huge asset for us going forward.
"We said from the start we want to make sure we look after him so he's got a lot more years in him of Test cricket.
"We can't wait to get him back to Australia and unleash him during the summer."
The substituting of the pace attack has been a different approach that has paid dividends for the Australians in the Ashes.
Traditionally, Australia have picked their three premier fast bowlers and backed them to adapt to the different conditions around the world, whether it be featherbeds in India, fast wickets in Australia or green tops in New Zealand.
But having not won an Ashes series in the UK since 2001, the Australian brains trust looked at the conditions on offer and the personnel they have available before selecting a complementary fast-bowling attack.
For example, veteran Peter Siddle, who has played multiple seasons of county cricket with a game based around building pressure through relentless accuracy, has been given the nod over Mitch Starc, the rapid left-armer who can blast out batting units but also leak runs bowling so aggressively.
The plan has worked wonders, and had Australia taken their chances in the final hour at Headingley, the visitors would have taken 20 wickets in three Tests and be entering the final Test of the series with a 3-0 lead.
The 'horses for courses' strategy looks set to remain when Paine's side returns home, where the faster bowlers appear likely to feature prominently on the flatter Australian pitches.
"We spoke a lot about we felt we needed to change the way we picked our attacks over in England," Paine explained.
"I think over the years we've had a pretty good formula in Australia; clearly bigger, taller, faster bowlers work really well in Australia.
"That's where we see a really exciting six months for James Pattinson coming up and Mitchell Starc, those guys who haven't played as much during this series.
"We think our home conditions suit those two really well, so we are excited.
"We're going to have them fresh and ready to go for the home summer which is great."
It has been a grueling northern summer for those in the Ashes squad who have featured in both the World Cup and Ashes campaigns.
The six players in both squads – Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Usman Khawaja and Starc – left Australian shores in May and will return home next week after spending almost five months in the UK.
At this point in the series, training has tapered off for those who have endured a high volume of cricket and Paine says it has been a group effort keeping everybody fresh and focused with only one match left.
"If you see your mate looking a bit tired it's about going over and helping him out and picking him up," Paine said. "We've had that squad mentality the whole way through (the tour).
"We knew guys were going to tire but at the same time we've had the mentality that we're going to push through it and help each other out. Guys are managed really well these days, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.
"Our quicks have bowled a lot of overs and what they do is hard work.
"As the series has gone on they haven't trained anywhere near as much as they were at the start.
"They've looked after themselves, but we've got lots of resources, guys are really well prepared and everyone who takes the field tomorrow will be 100 per cent ready to go."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia won by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: Match drawn at Lord's
Third Test: England won by one wicket at Headingley
Fourth Test: Australia won by 185 runs at Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval