Sport Cricket Fit, in form and in love with cricket again: James Pattinson’s ‘brilliant’ English summer

Fit, in form and in love with cricket again: James Pattinson’s ‘brilliant’ English summer

A common sight in Nottingham as Pattinson celebrates a wicket. Photo: Getty
Tweet Share Reddit Pin EmailComment

Shin problems. Back complaints. Hamstring injuries. Foot issues.

James Pattinson’s career has been so interrupted by injury he doubted if he was ever going to get a chance to fulfil his undoubted potential.

But after recently achieving his goal to get through both the second half of Australia’s domestic season and then a stint with English county side Nottinghamshire unscathed, the 27-year-old is understandably buoyant.

He snared 24 wickets at 17.81 in the last five matches of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield-winning campaign, form he carried into the County Championship season, where he bagged 32 scalps at a superb average of 12.06 in five matches.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic to get essentially a full season of domestic cricket in,” he told The New Daily.

“It was a real goal of mine. Once you have so many injuries, you think: ‘Am I gonna hold up?’

“I had to prove to myself that I could get through a busy workload and I’ve done it. Playing regularly has helped my body.”

Pattinson also played 10 one-day matches for Nottinghamshire and hit the winning runs in the Lord’s final on Saturday – a great way to finish what he describes as a “brilliant” stint in England.

So, confident in his body and match-fit, Pattinson is desperate for the chance to show his wares on a scheduled tour to Bangladesh in August and September.

However, cricket’s pay dispute means the tour is no certainty to go ahead, in what would be a cruel blow to Pattinson, who like more than 200 other cricketers is now out of contract.

“I think it will all get sorted,” he said.

“I’m sure Cricket Australia want all the tours to go ahead. The last couple of weeks there’s been a bit of progress, but not anywhere near enough.

“But we hope it gets sorted for the fans and so we can play cricket.”

Pattinson says he will be “100 per cent ready – both physically and mentally” if the tour goes ahead in the country where he made his one-day international debut.

James Pattinson is delighted after Nottinghamshire win the one-day final. Photo; Getty

That’s all down to his stint with Nottinghamshire, which he says was a “real good learning curve”.

“I’ve learned that it’s not all about bowling fast … I’ve just been trying to bowl with good rhythm. It’s been rewarding,” he said.

Pattinson, who averaged 49.25 with the bat for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship, wants to bat at No.7 in Australia’s Test team – a position that would allow skipper Steve Smith the flexibility of playing four quicks and one front-line spinner.

“That’s a goal – I’d love to be able to do that,” he said.

“For the whole year, I’ve done well with the bat. I’ve put a high price on my wicket.

“I put a lot of practice in when I was injured and as I’ve gotten older, I now know my game really well. I know my strengths and tend to stick to them.”

In an Ashes year, talk among Aussie cricketers, especially those playing in England, tends to centre around cricket’s biggest event.

Not that Pattinson, who already averages 27.66 with the bat at Test level, is getting carried away about headlines calling for his inclusion.

“I’ve made the mistake in the past of thinking too far ahead,” he said.

“It is exciting to hear people talk about the four quicks [Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Pattinson] and it would be great to play in the Ashes with those guys.

“I’ve grown up with them, playing against each other in underage cricket and through the national team. But there’s a lot of time between now and then.”

For now, Pattinson is focused on Bangladesh. If the tour goes ahead.

View Comments