Fit and fresh Pattinson targets consecutive Tests for Australia

By Sports Desk November 11, 2019

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson plans to make back-to-back Test matches the next milestone in his return to international cricket.

The injury-ravaged Victorian ended a three-year absence from the top level with two appearances in the recent Ashes series in England.

Pattinson was forced to undergo spinal surgery to correct a career-threatening back problem in 2017 and selectors have been careful with his reintegration.

He took two wickets in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston and then claimed another three in the third Test in Leeds, with a rest in between.

"The next process for me now, if I do get the chance in the Test arena, is to play more back-to-back cricket," Pattinson told reporters.

"I've been injury-free for the best part of a year now. The body is feeling good. Hopefully that's the next progression, if I do get a chance in the Test team."

He continued: "I think the more cricket you play, the more comfortable you feel in terms of your body and how the ball is coming out.

"You see the batters around and they're playing all the time and they get into a rhythm. As a bowler, it's hard sometimes when you're stopping and going and stopping and going.

"Hopefully the next step of the process is playing some consistent cricket."

Australia are set to play five Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand over the next two months, giving Pattinson the chance to push for consecutive matches.

But the 29-year-old faces strong competition simply to win selection, with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser also challenging Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for places.

"We've got a lot of fast bowlers up at the moment, which is great for Australian cricket," Pattinson said.

"All anyone can do is go out there and do their best for the team they're playing in."

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