Australia news March 14, 2017

Pattinson asked to be excluded from India tour


James Pattinson has had a long history with injuries, especially to his back © Getty Images

Fast bowler James Pattinson has revealed he asked Australia's selectors not to consider him for an international return against India after a string of injuries that have left him wary of rushing his latest comeback.

Pattinson, 26, has broken down while playing for Australia no fewer than four times since his debut in 2011, twice after returning with minimal cricket behind him. He told RSN Radio he had asked the selectors to let him play a sequence of Sheffield Shield matches this time around before factoring him into Test plans. The panel had sent Pat Cummins to India in an audacious attempt to wrest the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from India

"I had a chat with the selectors before this series, saying that I just wanted to really get through this Shield season," Pattinson said. "I know the last two times I've done something like this, flown over to a series where it's in the balance and there's the potential of me bowling close to 40, 50 overs, which I have - in South Africa in 2014 I did it, and then last year I did the same thing in New Zealand, going in with not a lot of cricket, and it hasn't really turned out very well for me.

"We didn't want to make that same mistake again, because at 26, if I went over there and did my back again or something, it would be not an ideal thing for the third time. It was one thing that I didn't want to do, and the selectors and physios weren't too keen on trying to rush me back this time. They've given me the best possible chance of getting back and playing three, four, five Shield games and getting confidence in my body this way."

Pattinson empathised with Cummins' eagerness to play in India, and recalled his own attitude as a younger man when the risk of injury seemed a small price to pay next to the chance to play Test matches.

"It's a hard thing - when you've got the talent of Pat Cummins, it's a hard thing, especially when the series is 1-1," he said. "And that's the thing that I saw the time when I went to South Africa, and last year, you want to do everything you possibly can for your country and help win, and you don't care if you get injured.

"That's the sort of thing I've done in the past, and now that I'm a bit older, you can't really afford to do my back again and have another year off at this age. I'm sure Pat will go over and do well and who knows, he'll probably be fine. But that was the risk that I've taken over the last couple of years and it hasn't paid off, so it didn't want to do that again."

It has been reported that Pattinson is in line to replace his fellow Victorian Peter Siddle as the overseas player for Nottinghamshire in English county competition later this year.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lach on March 15, 2017, 9:22 GMT

    Reading some of the comments re the frustrations of one day seeing the four Aussie quicks - Starc, Cummins, Patterson and Bird/ Hazelwood - barring any injuries, reminded me as a Pakistani supporter of one day hoping to see the four quicks: Wasim, Waqar, Akhtar and Mohammed Zahid (Akhtar claimed in an interview (on Youtube) that this man was a yard quicker than him, and that's coming from Mr Pomp himself) one day playing together barring any injuries.

    Sadly we never did given Zahid's fatal back injury.

    And we only got to see the two W's and Akhtar play together in not too many matches.

    That's just the nature of fast bowling sadly!

    Just makes you appreciate the greatness of the 80s Windies team. Their quicks were, as people say, born under "lucky stars" to play together for that long.

  • rod on March 15, 2017, 4:48 GMT

    @ HUSSAIN KURAWADWALA....I'm with you buddy...Starc or Cummins alone have shown to be better bats than Mitch Marsh.... Ether way Starc, Pattinson, Cummins and Hazlewood (although I prefer Bird) would win us most matches whether home or's hoping they are fit for next summer and beyond, and as you say, the selectors have the guts

  • Rohan on March 15, 2017, 3:18 GMT

    Yes, cooler heads must prevail. I don't agree with the Cummins selection, but atleast he has been playing and training for much of the season now, even if it's largely been limited overs cricket. Patto has had very little. The bigger picture must surely be looked at though, and that has got to be these guys future careers, not the here and now. We'd love to beat India sure, but realistically our best shot may have already been fired, now Starc is down. But since we were never expected to even compete, what are we losing now if we don't win? I hope Patto is looked after at Notts, not run into the ground because of his potential to destroy the Poms next summer!

  • Brian on March 15, 2017, 1:04 GMT

    @Jayzuz - Too true mate! Patto would be on a hiding to nothing if he went to India. Probably cause himself another injury by attempting to get the ball above waist high! For the same reason, I think the rushing of Cummins back into the team is a mistake. Indian pitches kill genuine quicks, and somebody like Bird is much more suited. Pattinson can stay home, get strong, and come back on pitches more suited to his bowling next summer.

  • CricMystique on March 15, 2017, 0:11 GMT

    So he is ok to bowl for his side in FC cricket, and also has a county contract coming up.... he deems it fit to give bowling for the country in tough ardous conditions a miss .......dosen't that smack of a certain level of disrespect for the efforts of those already out there slugging out ? as TESTCRICROX ON MARCH 14, 2017, 11:03 GMT - said what about several previous gen of quicks who have slogged on our wickets and yet been successful..... i just feel this is robbing genuine indian cricket followers and lovers of quick bowling a gr8 chance to see such a talent in action, just so that he can focus on bowling in the ashes not whinging at the comparison or as an indian have a feeling of being left out, but surely - you'd grab any chance to live the dream to play for your nation....that said, wish him speedy recover and all the v best from an indian fan....cheers

  •   Hussain Kurawadwala on March 14, 2017, 23:33 GMT

    I still dream of the time Starc, Cummins, Pattinson and Hazlewood bowl together in a match. Aus drops its spinners and goes for four seamers. We will have 3 of these playing regularly but I wish that Aus has the guts to play all four at the Gabba in this year's Ashes and hopefuly all 4 can stay fit. Aus does not need allrounders as Starc and Cummins are good enough to be a 7th bat if the keeper can bat well. Then they can have even Lyon.

  • Alexander on March 14, 2017, 23:10 GMT

    Australian is coming into a strong position at the moment regarding their fast bowling stocks (apart from the Starc injury). If we can one day soon see a fit Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird in our squad then that is an embarrassment of riches. I can't say enough about how good Starc and Hazlewood are and Pattinson, Cummins and Bird are all class when fit. I think Jackson Bird would make many other Test Teams, however he is unlucky that he has such talent to compete with.

  • Peter on March 14, 2017, 22:55 GMT

    I also wish they didn't select Cummins, but he at least has been playing cricket since September so fitness should not be an issue where as JP has only just come back on the top of a couple of T20 games.

  • Chris on March 14, 2017, 21:22 GMT

    Understandable. Really hope Pattinson does get that county contract. An off season in England playing county cricket would be really good for him I reckon.

  • Xiong on March 14, 2017, 19:31 GMT

    Not sure why the selectors were ever allowed to overrule the medicos anyway. I doubt anyone involved with his rehab the first 2 times would have been all for an immediate return to test cricket. Then again, the selection panel that was responsible was self-admittedly inept, so whatever. Considering how many of our young quicks have gone down from being asked to play drawn out 5 day matches on flat tracks before their bodies are fully matured you would think they would have learned a bit sooner. Everybody else who wasn't a selector seemed to have figured it out years ago.

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