James Pattinson’s Boxing Day Test heroics restated his case to be a first XI Test pick.
James Pattinson’s Boxing Day Test heroics restated his case to be a first XI Test pick.

Patto’s demolition act knocks down selection door

THE hug between James Pattinson and Peter Siddle on the MCG pitch before play on day four had that little bit of extra oomph about it.

Siddle had just told his Australian teammates his international career was over, and the warmth for the ultimate team man from everyone was clear.

But the bond he shares with Pattinson, who Siddle likened to his "younger brother", has existed beyond the Test change room.

They are club and state teammates, and friends well before that too. They first met before Pattinson had turned 10.

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They shared the Boxing Day stage together in 2015, but this time only one was getting to play. It's Pattinson's first Test in Australia since 2016 too.

And as if stirred by a parting message from his mate, who had declared a reason for his exit was that the younger crop of Australian quicks was "killing it", Pattinson went on and killed New Zealand's faint victory hopes.

The Victorian firebrand had already taken three first innings wickets, rendering the exit of injured Josh Hazlewood, who isn't available for the Sydney Test either, disappointing but a long way from diabolic.

James Pattinson and Peter Siddle share a close bond in cricket and well beyond that.
James Pattinson and Peter Siddle share a close bond in cricket and well beyond that.

Then in the space of just 12 balls on Sunday, Pattinson made a clear statement for his continued selection, whenever and wherever Australia plays for the foreseeable future.

"He was awesome today in particular but he also bowled superbly in the first innings,' Aussie captain Tim Paine said.

"Today, when it was his turn to step up, he provided the team with a spark, as he does.

"His energy around our group is infectious, he's great to play with and he leaves it all out on the field.

He was an excellent addition to our team."

Few bowlers in world cricket take more top order scalps than Pattinson. Of his 80 Test wickets, 56 have been top four batsmen.

 

James Pattinson was at his snarling, aggressive best on day four at the MCG.
James Pattinson was at his snarling, aggressive best on day four at the MCG.

After eight wicket-less overs from the Aussies, Pattinson replaced Mitchell Starc at the members end and removed stubborn Kiwi opener Tom Latham with his fourth ball.

Next over he was sent to the opposite end, where he did his day three damage, and went pow, pow.

Second ball he removed Kiwi captain Kane Williamson with a ball the computer decided would have grazed leg stump.

Pattinson had 2-3 from eight deliveries, which became 3-5 from 12 when Ross Taylor chopped on the last ball of his second over, to put his team on the path to the victory achieved later in the afternoon.

Outside the MCG, saying more goodbyes, Siddle was beaming at Pattinson's haul, leaving the game confident the Test team was in good bowling hands.

"I've known Patto since he was eight years old and played a lot with him from club cricket up to Victoria and Australia," Siddle said.

"To see him back out there after what he's gone through, it's amazing. It puts a big smile on my face to see him charge in."

Stream the AUS v NZ Domain Test Series LIVE & Ad-Break Free During Play on KAYO with FOX CRICKET's unmatched commentary line-up. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

News Corp Australia


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