What’s the story?
Putting their Ashes rivalry aside, Australian speedster James Pattinson spoke of his joy at getting an opportunity to open with the new ball alongside Stuart Broad at Nottinghamshire and revealed that the senior England pro has been helping him improve his skills.
Pattinson, who has made a brilliant start to his County career in England with 13 wickets as well as scoring two half-centuries in his first two four-day games for Nottinghamshire, conceded that it was a little hard to believe that he was plying his trade in England alongside one of their modern Test greats.
“I never thought I’d be opening the bowling with Stuart Broad after playing Test matches against him. It’s fantastic the way he talks about cricket, he’s played 100 Test matches and I think he’s just only turned 30,” Pattinson said, describing his admiration for Broad.
The 26-year-old added that the duo were good friends off the field despite the Ashes rivalry between their two international teams.
“We are fierce in battle when we are playing in the Ashes but at the end of it, we are all pretty good mates and we can all have a beer together,” Pattinson said. “It’s great to get an insight into how he sees fast bowling and what he does to prepare his body. He has been helping me out a fair bit.”
In case you didn’t know...
Stuart Broad was one of Australia’s biggest tormentors on their Ashes tour to England in 2015 which the tourists lost 3-2, leading to the likes of then skipper Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Chris Rogers to announce their retirement from the longer format of the game.
Broad picked up 21 wickets from 5 Tests, which included the devastating spell of 8-15 at Nottingham which saw the Aussies being dismissed for a paltry total of just 60 runs in their first innings.
The biggest point of contention that Australia has with Broad, however, dates back to the 2013 Ashes series in England when he refused to walk after edging a ball to the slip fielder off Ashton Agar’s bowling.
It will be interesting to see the reception Broad receives Down Under for the 2017-18 Ashes series, but for now, he and Pattinson are forging a formidable new-ball partnership for Nottinghamshire.
The heart of the matter
Pattinson has had an injury-crippled run in international cricket so far with success on the field often followed by the disappointment of having to sit out of matches due to fitness issues.
Aiming to get a good run of matches under his belt at the County level, Pattinson spoke in awe of the manner in which Broad has taken care of his body considering that the Englishman has already played 100 Test matches for his country at the age of just 30.
Having had the opportunity to see up close how Broad prepares himself for upcoming matches, Pattinson said that he would like to emulate Broad in bowling more to maintain his rhythm rather than shy away from doing so in fear of injuring himself.
Pattinson also added that there was no question of any animosity between the duo and described Broad as a great player, on and off the field.
Broad’s wish to play more cricket was denied by the ECB who prevented him from featuring for Nottinghamshire in their second four-day match of the campaign and it will be interesting to see how much time Pattinson can remain with Nottinghamshire.
Having been called up for Australia’s Champions Trophy squad, Pattinson is set to leave Nottinghamshire in May but they are hopeful that they can avail the Australian speedster’s services for the final part of the campaign.
The stint in England will no doubt help Pattinson help improve his skills as a bowler, but as evident from his own words, the most important thing is to remain fit and available for selection for the Ashes later this year.
Broad is a perfect example for Pattinson to learn from and his association with one of England’s leading Test players will no doubt help him personally improve his fitness regime and quality as a bowler.