JLT One-Day Cup 2018
Maddinson set for Victoria debut
Australia T20 batsman joins Victoria squad for one-day trial matches as quick James Pattinson suffers setback
30 August 2018, 05:57 PM AEST
Australia Twenty20 batsman Nic Maddinson will pull on Victoria's navy blue for the first time this week as he firms for a JLT One-Day Cup berth, but James Pattinson's involvement has been clouded by an injury setback.
Despite playing four games for Australia's T20 side in Zimbabwe earlier this year, Maddinson remarkably remains without a state contract having been cut from NSW's squad for the upcoming summer.
The left-hander, who played three Tests for Australia in 2016, has linked up with the Victorian squad on pre-season camp in Brisbane and will make his debut in a 50-over practice match against Western Australia at Allan Border Field on Friday.
Victoria could be without three of their best limited-overs batters for the JLT Cup should the trio of Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell be selected for Australia's Test series against Pakistan.
Coach Andrew McDonald says Maddinson is "right in the mix" for inclusion for the one-day tournament, which kicks off on September 16 with a Queensland-Victoria clash in Townsville.
"Depending on which way the Australian selectors go, it (Maddinson's potential selection) will be determined by how many batters Australia pick as to what opportunities lay ahead," McDonald told cricket.com.au.
"But he's a player that is just coming off a recent series in Zimbabwe. He's a very good white-ball player.
"He won the last player of the tournament for NSW for their one-day competition. He'll be right in the mix when it comes to the final selection."
Former Tasmania paceman Andrew Fekete, a one-time Australian Test squad inclusion for the 2015 tour of Bangladesh, is also in consideration for Victoria's one-day squad having moved back to Melbourne over the winter. The 33-year-old quick played two practice matches for the Vics in Queensland earlier this week.
Victoria's selection chairman Andrew Lynch said in May that Victoria had found out about Maddinson's omission from the NSW squad too late to consider contracting him.
The 26-year-old has crossed from the Sydney Sixers to the Melbourne Stars after penning a three-year deal in February. He's also signed on to play Premier Cricket in Melbourne for St Kilda, the club that has produced the likes of Shane Warne and Handscomb, while he's recently finished a stint with county side Surrey in the United Kingdom's T20 competition.
"He's landed in our lap," McDonald continued. "He was keen to explore his options around the states and we had a good couple of conversations about what he still wants to achieve in his career.
"He still has a lot of cricket to play and he matched up with where we were heading as well, he was comfortable to come down and play club cricket and try to force his way in that way.
"It's a definite positive for our environment – it creates definite competition in our batting group. He's a current Australian T20 player which means he's a very good white-ball player."
Pattinson injury blow
Pattinson's immediate hopes of returning to the bowling crease have meanwhile taken a hit after suffering a hip flexor injury.
Victoria had been bullish that he might be fit enough to play a part in the JLT Cup. Pattinson's recovery from major back surgery, in which he had metal pins inserted and his L4 vertebrae strengthened with wire, had been progressing well before the recent hip setback.
The right-armer had returned to bowling in the indoor nets in recent months and while he is not currently with the Victoria squad in Brisbane, McDonald says he could still feature in the JLT Cup.
"He was a realistic possibility," McDonald said of Pattinson's JLT Cup chances before the hip injury. "He had a fair way to go but he was on track. Everything would have had to go really, really well for him to be available.
"The first diagnosis of the injury suggests it would be difficult for him to partake but that's not to rule him out entirely."
Pattinson has said he isn't sure whether his body will ever be right for the rigours of the longest format again, but McDonald insists the speedster, whose 17 Tests have yielded 70 wickets, has not limited himself to white-ball cricket.
"He still wants to play all forms of cricket, there's been no talk about limiting himself to certain formats," said McDonald.
"The key thing to conversations between me and Patto have just been about 'let's get back playing cricket' and then like any fast bowler you take it game by game.
"You pull up from one game and get selected from there and see how you go from there."
Victorian fast bowlers Jake Reed, Wes Agar and Mitch Perry are also all on the mend from injury, paving the way for former Australia Under-19 quick Matt Fotia’s inclusion in upcoming practice matches.