A major surprise in Australia’s playing XI for the first test at the Basin Reserve was the exclusion of pacer James Pattinson. Jackson Bird, the Tasmania pacer, who last wore the Australia shirt in mid 2013, was given the preference ahead of an in form Pattinson. The latter had recently grabbed a five wicket haul on his return to international cricket.
Skipper Steve Smith had reiterated before the game that Pattinson was overlooked as the selectors were not completely satisfied with his fitness. “The selectors aren’t 100 per cent sure whether he’d get through this first Test match,” skipper Steve Smith said. Smith however, added that Pattinson would be in line to earn a recall for the second test. “Selectors are confident that he’ll be fit and available for the second Test match,” Smith said. “It’s nice to just have that little bit of extra time. He can get a few bowls in the nets over the next couple of days,” he added.
Australian bowling coach Craig McDermott too added that it would be in the best interests of Pattinson if he was rested for another 8-9 days. “We’re better off giving him another eight or nine days to see whether he can get through the second Test match,” McDermott said. “We have to make sure he’s 100 per cent before he gets a crack, if he gets a crack. “He’s got to get through some bowling, first and foremost and how he pulls up over the next seven or eight days. We’ll take every day as it comes.”
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