Ashes 2019: James Pattinson on board with resting for Lord's Test as Shane Warne roasts decision

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London: Driven by a desire to play for Australia until he is 35, James Pattinson has bought into the rest-and-rotation policy that led to his benching for the second Ashes Test, admitting the breakdowns that have interrupted his career have been a “big learning curve”.

There was a time when you’d almost have to physically hold an old-school, grunting-and-snorting fast bowler such as Pattinson back from an opportunity to play in a Test match, particularly when they were not carrying an injury.

James Pattinson is cooling his heels for the second Test at Lord's, much to Shane Warne's disappointment.

James Pattinson is cooling his heels for the second Test at Lord's, much to Shane Warne's disappointment.Credit:AP

In the case of Pattinson he has already missed so much international cricket since his debut in 2011, mainly due to recurring stress fractures of the back, that you could imagine the prospect of giving up his spot in the Australian XI may go against his instincts.

The decision to rest the 29-year-old for the second Test at Lord’s – the start of which was delayed by wet weather in London on Wednesday – did not go down smoothly in all quarters.

Test great Shane Warne was particularly critical of the call by selectors, saying he was “shocked to see James Pattinson is not in the squad” for Lord’s.

“He should have been in the playing 11,” Warne posted on social media. “It’s [a] very dangerous decision to drop someone (not rest as 8 days between tests) after they did well in the opening test!

“There are many reasons why this isn’t a good decision, but the main one is - you never flirt with form. I hope this doesn't backfire on the Aussies.”

With a three-day break between the second Test and the third, which begins at Headingley next Thursday, a fresh Pattinson could be a very useful asset for Australia.

But it was in the interests of Pattinson’s longer-term well-being that the decision to bench him at Lord’s was made, according to captain Tim Paine, and the man himself has not fought it.

It was at Lord's in 2013 where he suffered his first back injury after playing the first two Tests of the Ashes series.

Before his Australian return in the first Test at Edgbaston, his previous Test was against New Zealand in Christchurch in 2016, a match which he began with one injury and picked up two others – and a city in which he would later have radical back surgery to try and resurrect his career.

“The great thing with having so many bowlers around now is you can go the other way rather than push through it ... there are plenty of Test matches,” Pattinson told the Final Word podcast ahead of the second Test. “For me, that’s probably a big learning curve.

“I’d come in with a stress fracture in my fibula into the [New Zealand] series, I was basically playing with a broken leg and in that Test match I started to feel my back start to go. I was in a bit of agony at the time. I tore my ab as well in that same game.”

Before the series, Pattinson indicated he was on board with the selectors’ squad mentality for pacemen against England, with Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc all fit.

“[Selectors] have always wanted to have a lot of these bowlers up and running at the same time,” Pattinson said. "They've got that now so it gives them a great choice of variety of bowlers.

“It also gives them the option of resting players. It's five Tests with two tour games in six weeks then straight into an Australian summer. It gives them plenty of options.

“As big as an Ashes series is, you have to think of it long-term. If that's resting after bowling a fair few overs, I'm sure the next guy coming in ... or if I'm doing that for some other guy ... it will help us long-term and hold us in good shape going into the summer and beyond that.”