James Pattinson admits Indian conditions tough for pacers

Coming back from injury, burly Victorian pacer not sure if he will make the playing XI ahead of Peter Siddle and Mithchell Starc.

Reported by: NDTVSports
Last updated on Thursday, 14 February, 2013 18:16 IST
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Australian pace sensation James Pattinson, who tormented Indian batsmen a year ago Down Under, says pacers will go all out against Indians. After a long injury lay-off, James Pattinson is back to where he belongs, donning the Australian whites and itching the hold the red cherry once again.

The rookie speedster was out of the game with an unusual side and rib injury, which he picked up in the home series against South Africa in late November. Having earlier feared to be out for more than three months, the 22-year-old fought back to make it the Australian squad for the four-Test tour of India.

"It is fantastic to be back in the Australian whites after a lay-off. Being out of the team is quite disappointing but I am looking forward to what's coming ahead of us," said the right-arm bowler ahead of the team's practice session in Chennai on Thursday.

"My comeback to cricket has been pretty good. I've managed to play a Shield game and I have some overs under my belt. But here there are different conditions which are a lot tougher on the body. So hopefully I can be injury free for a longer time now," he added.

Australia's first tour game, a two-day tie against Indian Board President's XI, ended in a draw in Chennai on Wednesday and Pattinson did not shake the earth then. He got a lone wicket giving away 24 runs in 9 overs.  The 6-foot 3-inch tall bowler, who had a terrific start to Test cricket with 31 wickets in 7 matches, feels his body is still acclimatizing to sub-continental conditions.

"The new ball here is obviously harder and you can get the wickets early on in the spell. I didn't get the breakthrough that we wanted but I was feeling very good and my body shaped up nicely considering the hard conditions here," he said.

With a strike rate of scalping a wicket every 41 balls Pattinson minced no words on the strategy his team will lay out against Indian batsmen.

"You want to make the batsman play more and more with the new ball till the time it is hard and new. That's when the batsmen too will go for the shots as the ball comes nicely on to the bat. More the ball gets older the harder it is to get runs. So early on, you have to make the batsmen play strokes, bowl some short pitched deliveries and try and hit the stumps as a bowler. This will probably be the way we'll try and attack the Indians on the tour," the Victorian pacer said.

He might be the fastest bowler in the Australian side with the ability to clock close to 145 kms per-hour mark regularly, but Pattinson is still not guaranteed of a spot in the playing eleven for the Test side. With Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson having played in India before and Mitchell Starc being in-form, it is difficult for Pattinson to break through until and unless the visitors go for a highly unlikely 4-pronged pace attack.

"We have got some exciting bowlers coming up with Jackson Bird bowling well. Mitchell Johnson is back as well and it's fantastic to see so many bowling coming through at the same time. The competition for the spots is a lot higher now and that obviously will make me work harder to get that spot. At the moment though, we are working together and I know whoever they'll pick in the eleven, they will do a fairly good job," he said.

Ahead of the three-day practice match starting Saturday against Gautam Gambhir-led India A in Chennai, Pattinson hopes the team will be able to get a lot of positives.

"Nothing has been said about the team for our next tour game. It was nice bowling in the nets today. It will be our first major training together as a squad on the tour and hopefully we'll take the positives out of it leading into our three-day game. The surface might not be extremely dry but will still offer plenty of turn and a bit of reverse swing which is always good for the fast bowlers," concluded a confident Pattinson on Thursday.

Story first published on: Thursday, 14 February 2013 18:13 IST

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