I doubt I’ll play, says Pattinson
JAMES Pattinson isn’t expecting to play in the first Test in Brisbane despite being picked in the 14-man squad.
The Victorian firebrand believes the NSW trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will get the bowling duties when the first clash with Pakistan starts next Thursday.
But Pattinson, who played two Ashes Tests this year, was also confident his time would come this summer, as the now 29-year-old craved for his first Test in Australia since 2016.
“It will be a tough gig to get in the team, but it’s great to get in to that squad,” Pattinson said after taking 2-56 on day three of the Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland at the MCG. “There’s nothing like playing a home summer and if I stay fit and on the park I’m sure that chance will come.
“Selection is on a game-togame basis, but if I am just there, staying fit, bowling well, putting my name forward, at some stage I will get the nod.”
Pattinson’s own excitement at getting picked was mixed with disappointment for Victorian teammate Marcus Harris, who was dropped after a lean run in the Ashes. Despite outscoring Queenslander Joe Burns, who was picked to open with David Warner, in both the Sheffield Shield this season and in the Australia A “batoff”, Harris was left out of the 14-man squad completely.
But Pattinson insisted the left-hander, who has played nine Tests, would bounce back.
“It will just make him hungrier,” he said.
Pattinson said he wants to throw his arms around three teammates who have been sidelined by mental health issues, declaring the spotlight on sportspeople has never been more intense.
After being told he was included in the Test squad, Pattinson found out that Victorian comrade Will Pucovski had removed himself from contention as he continued to deal with his mental wellbeing.
Having already seen Glenn Maxwell and then Nic Maddinson take similar steps in recent weeks, Pattinson said the “microscope” athletes were under was having a bigger impact than ever before.
“I just think sometimes life can be hard for people and it’s harder on some people than others,” he said. “The way sport is now, you get put in the spotlight all the time, it’s almost like there is a microscope on you. I’ll be putting my arm around Will and the boys and seeing if they are OK.”
KEEPING FIT: James Pattinson hopes to get a Test this summer.