This year, Ashes is probably one of my last cracks: James Pattinson

This year, Ashes is probably one of my last cracks: James Pattinson

James Pattinson has played only 21 Tests in his 10-year career for Australia and only four since his comeback in 2019.

James Pattinson. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

James Pattinson was once a promising fast-bowler coming out of Australia. He made his Test debut in 2011 against New Zealand and was instantly identified as someone who can go on to become a leading pacer for the Australian Test team. However, a decade later, he has played 21 Tests. At the age of 31, he is entering a phase where most pacers experience a decline. 

There are a few reasons why he hasn’t played more than 21 Tests. As a tearaway pacer in his younger days, he faced some injury issues which persisted over the last decade or so. This allowed some bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Jos Hazlewood to edge past him in becoming a regular feature for the Aussie Test team. 

But, Pattinson has had his share of moments and his record is actually eye-catching. In 21 Tests, he has taken 81 wickets at an average of 26.33 and a strike rate of 48.90. To put into perspective, anything below 50 (strike rate) is considered to be quite good in Tests. The Victorian pacer has expressed that the Ashes in 2020-21 would be one of his last cracks at making it big in Test cricket. 

James Pattinson to enjoy his cricket if he doesn’t return for the Ashes 2021-22

“This year, if I’m being honest, it’s probably one of my last cracks at it,” he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “I’m going to try and play in the Ashes and see how I go. The hardest part as you get older is that you want to try and enjoy your cricket as well. You put all your attention into playing cricket for Australia and at some stage, that finishes,” Pattinson said. 

His injury struggles were over though by 2019. He made a comeback into the national side and even played a role in Australia’s Ashes 2-2 success in England. However, what is worth noting is the fact that since that comeback he has only played four Tests, the last of which was against New Zealand in January 2020. He was a part of Australia’s plans last summer but against India, the selectors backed the trusted trio of Starc, Cummins, and Hazlewood. 

“This year is a big one for me if I can crack it and try and get an opportunity at Test level. Then if not, then I probably wouldn’t mind just looking to try and enjoy my cricket somewhere towards the back-end of my career,” Pattinson said.