JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19
Maddinson thumb injury blow for Vics
Key batsman fractures digit against South Australia, in danger of missing Shield final
Andrew Ramsey at Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
20 March 2019, 09:30 PM AEST
Victoria's seemingly seamless path to next week's JLT Sheffield Shield final has struck a hurdle, with Nic Maddinson unlikely to be available after sustaining a thumb fracture in today's Shield match in Adelaide.
Maddinson, the former Test batter who transferred from New South Wales last year, returned to Melbourne this evening for further examination of the injury that occurred when he attempted a slips catch off South Australia's Tom Andrews.
The 27-year-old left the field shortly after the incident and was taken to the nearby Royal Adelaide Hospital where a fracture in his right thumb was confirmed.
Asked if the injury meant the left-hander was in doubt for next week's Shield final which the competition-leading Victorians will host, teammate James Pattinson said: "He probably would be."
"He's going to have it assessed (in Melbourne Thursday) to see if he needs surgery or not.
"Hopefully we can bypass that and get him up for the final, but obviously it's not looking great."
If Maddinson is unavailable for the play-off game against an opponent yet to be determined, it would end a tough summer during which he also had his right arm broken when struck by Western Australia quick Jhye Richardson while batting.
There was better news, however, for Pattinson who has fought an even longer battle against serious injury but today claimed three SA wickets to add to the five-wicket haul he snared against NSW last week.
The 28-year-old is now squarely in the frame for an Ashes call-up, if he maintains form and fitness and is able to get some more competitive bowling before the five-Test Qantas Tour of the UK gets underway in July.
Pattinson confirmed tonight that he's keen to return to English county Nottinghamshire before the Ashes campaign begins, provided he receives the okay from Cricket Australia and notwithstanding his selection for the Australia A series that precedes the Tests.
Notts have indicated this week they want him back at Trent Bridge if the appropriate clearances are received, and given his results with bat and ball when he last played there in 2017 it would provide an ideal preparation for any likely Australia duties.
"It looks like I'll probably go over (to Notts), it just has to get ticked off by Cricket Australia first," Pattinson said today, after claiming 3-52 as SA were bowled out for 260 at Karen Rolton Oval
"It just depends on how much cricket they (CA) want me to play, and whether I'm in their sights or not.
"But it's good just to string some games together.
"I've only played two (Shield) games, so it's just about getting some games under my belt now and the more I play the better my rhythm will get.
"I feel like I'm finding it (rhythm) a bit quicker than I have in the past probably because I played a bit before Christmas and a bit of the Big Bash as well.
"So it's just about playing as much cricket as I can leading up to my goal which is trying to picked on the Ashes."
Having recovered from his most recent round of back surgery, and then the side strain that prematurely ended his KFC Big Bash League campaign with the Brisbane Heat, Pattinson is no longer bound by restrictions on the number of overs he bowls each game.
However, with Victoria playing four quicks plus spinner Jon Holland in this current match, to ensure all their bowlers are spared heavy workloads before the final, it's unlikely Pattinson will be required to deliver lengthy spells in SA's second innings.
Victoria also opted to rest their leading wicket-taker for the Shield season, Scott Boland, from the current Shield game to ensure they enter the final with a fit and firing attack, of which Pattinson is now a key part.
Pattinson is then looking forward to rolling into the county season that begins with a series of one-day fixtures before the four-day county competition gets underway.
It didn’t take James Pattinson long to be back in the wickets on day one in Adelaide! Watch a live stream HERE: https://t.co/TkHCJ4XA7x #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/OkF6WxS56I— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 20, 2019
"I've missed a lot of cricket so the easy thing to do would be sit down and have another pre-season," Pattinson said of his winter plans.
"But I've had plenty of those so I need to play some cricket.
"I've only played two games here, so it looks like I might go there (to Notts) and play a bit and then hopefully get on that A-tour."
By which time he hopes to have convinced selectors he'll be a potent force in the Ashes quest.