England Lions Tour of Australia
'Hungry' Patterson eyes Shield feast to finish summer
NSW batter Kurtis Patterson looking to build on impressive Australia A display ahead of winter Test tour
Dave Middleton in Melbourne
26 February 2020, 12:05 PM AEST
Kurtis Patterson sounded a warning he's back near his best as he targets a strong finish to the first-class summer, knowing the carrot of a spot in the Test squad to Bangladesh this winter is up for grabs.
Patterson is eager to make up for lost time after a season disrupted by a significant quad injury but with two fifties in his past two first-class starts, he's coming home with a wet sail.
"I really feeling hungry, I know that's when I generally score my best runs when I'm in that headspace," Patterson told cricket.com.au after striking an unbeaten 94 against the England Lions in a pink-ball clash at the MCG.
"If I can just carry that forward into the last few games (of the Marsh Sheffield Shield) I'll know I'll be doing the best I can.
"It certainly lifts the hunger levels having missed out on so much cricket and knowing there's not a lot on the horizon, apart from those two Tests in Bangladesh.
"It's just about making the most of these last two, hopefully three, games count as much as I can."
While Australia's Test match batting line-up is all but settled after an unbeaten home summer against Pakistan and New Zealand, selectors will be looking to reinforce that list with back-up players in the touring party.
Patterson's composed innings in Melbourne with National Selector Trevor Hohns watching on has thrust him back into the Test squad conversation, but the 26-year-old knows he'll need to continue to pile on runs with the NSW Blues.
"The conditions here to Bangladesh, you couldn't ask for anything more opposite," Patterson said.
"Who knows what will be read into it by the selectors but it's always nice to be on winning teams. If we can try and make a Shield final first and then lift that again, whatever happens will happen."
Patterson, who went on a century-scoring spree to force his way into the Test team at the end of the 2018-19 summer – including twin tons against Sri Lanka in another Australia A fixture that forced selectors' hand – added 54 runs with the final four wickets before running out of partners.
"It's not the end of the world, you'd love to score a hundred but I'm not too displeased," he said after missing out on what would have been a ninth first-class century.
"It was just nice to get some time in the middle, to bat in different conditions of the game. That's the beauty of the pink ball – it's almost two different games from the day to the night.
"To get through some of those spells from those boys it gave me a bit of confidence going forward."
Patterson – who will marry partner Jocelyn Spurrier in May – has curtailed his plans to seek a County deal in the UK this winter, instead focusing on getting his body right for the 2020-21 summer.
"The quad is going really well. It's probably got to have some work done to it to get back to 100 per cent but in terms of being able to play cricket and do my job it's well and truly fine," Patterson said.
"I was looking to play a bit of County cricket but have put that on the backburner. I need to put some time into my quad and into my body.
"It's more important for me at the moment to have a really good pre-season for what will hopefully be a big summer next year."