Australia face pace-bowling puzzle
Cricket Australia had been warned James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test in January and he did, suffering a foot injury.
Pattinson — who played in Australia’s one-day series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this month but was overlooked for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka — will be among a handful of young quicks who’ll be carefully managed over Australia’s busy international schedule.
Australia coach Mickey Arthur says Pattinson, his fellow 22-year-old Mitchell Starc and teenager Pat Cummins are unlikely to play the entire summer of three Tests against South Africa starting in November followed by three Tests against Sri Lanka.
Arthur is confident Starc and Cummins will be fine to play through the entire World T20, which resumes for Australia with Friday night’s clash with India.
Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus have been earmarked by co-selector Arthur as the mainstays of Australia’s Test attack.
“We were told by the sports scientists that James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test,” Arthur said on Monday.
“Michael Clarke and myself and the selector-on-duty, we thought that the impact he’d made in Melbourne, it was worth taking that risk.
“Even though he broke down, he got four wickets in the first innings, he got India’s Gautam Gambhir in the first over of that Test match, arguably he put us on the road to win that Test.
“They were spot-on regarding James Pattinson in Sydney.
“So we’ve got to be very careful as to how we manage him.
“The sports scientists tell me that our guys under the age of 25 can bowl 52 to 55 days in a year.
“Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson, over the age of 25, they can probably give you 75 at high intensity.”
Monday’s withdrawal of Ryan Harris from the South Africa series following shoulder surgery complicates Arthur’s pace-bowling puzzle.
So too does the participation of Australian players in the Champions League T20 in South Africa in October which serves as a less-than-ideal build-up ahead of the first Test against the Proteas at the Gabba on November 9.
Arthur hopes after the CL his Test-squad pacemen such as Hilfenhaus, Cummins, Starc, and Shane Watson will be able to squeeze in a Shield game ahead of the first Test.
“It’s a little bit of, not a mess, but it will all come out in the wash depending on how far those (CL) teams get,” Arthur said.
Arthur says with a Test tour of India in February and an Ashes tour to follow, players have been asked to make themselves accountable for how they prepare themselves for these big series.
Australia will send bowling coach Ali De Winter to South Africa in a bid to avoid a repeat of Doug Bollinger’s breakdown in a Test match in India in 2010 after rushing to join the squad following completion of his CL commitments.© AAP 2013