Australia pacer James Pattinson targets Ashes 2019 for comeback
Australian pace bowler James Pattinson is all set to begin his comeback trail after suffering the fifth stress fracture on his back.Updated: Mar 04, 2018 16:29 IST
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Right-arm Australian fast bowler James Pattinson is eyeing comeback to Test cricket at the Ashes in 2019, after suffering yet another occurrence of the back stress fracture.
Pattinson was all set to be a part of the famed Australian fast bowling unit for the Ashes 2017-18 Down Under, but the reoccurrence of the back-related issue forced him out for a long period of time.
Such was his impression in the lead-up to the last Ashes that he was said to be the third preferred pacer after Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. However, the injury forced him out of action and Pat Cummins grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
Pattinson, according to cricket.com.au, now has metal pins inserted in his ‘troublesome L4 vertebrae’ after suffering his fifth back stress fracture. He went through an operation in New Zealand.
Putting his aim for comeback on the next Ashes series in England, Pattinson said, “You read (the media) and it says the ‘three seamers’ … I want to be in with them. Hopefully one day I can get on a tour and all four of us can play together.”
“The 2019 Ashes is my real goal, everything from now is getting right for that and putting performances together to get selected for that. That’s the real big one. The messages I’ve been getting from Cricket Australia are they want me to try and get ready for that.
“Most of my planning and the games I play over the coming (2018-19) summer will be around getting ready for that. It’s a long way away, but the goal is there,” he added.
The 27-year-old fast bowler said he has had positive outcome post surgery. “I had a scan and everything looked like it was good, we couldn’t see any fracture lines anymore so everything is on the right track,” Pattinson said.
Pattinson said he wants to develop his all-round skills on his comeback trail. “A big emphasis for me is trying to improve my batting as much as possible, so when I do need a rest (from bowling loads) maybe I can play as allrounder rather than totally miss the game … maybe just back off the overs and bat at six or seven for Victoria,” Pattinson said.
Pattinson is the third cricketer — after New Zealand’s Shane Bond and Corey Anderson — to have gone through such a treatment. He shared, “They both said the first two months back bowling, it felt like there was a bit of concrete stuck in their back. So I think I’m going to go through those sort of things, but that’s part and parcel of it,” Pattinson said.
“He (Bond) says it worked, it kept him on the park for longer, and lots of others have gone through the same thing and the success rate is pretty good. Hopefully, fingers crossed it was the right decision to prolong my career,” Pattinson concluded.
First Published: Mar 04, 2018 16:29 IST