Monday 22 January 2018

Pattinson in race against time for first Ashes Test

Australian seamer James Pattinson. Photo: EMPICS Sport
Australian seamer James Pattinson. Photo: EMPICS Sport

Gerard Hughes

Australian seamer James Pattinson is struggling to be fit for the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane next month, as he continues to suffer with a back issue.

The hosts' fast-bowling coach David Saker reported a setback for Pattinson in his recovery from back problems, but said that Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are all on track for the crunch opener at the Gabba on November 23.

Saker, who is currently standing in for head coach Darren Lehmann on Australia's one-day tour of India, said: "Three of them we know are on track, but James Pattinson's had a little bit of a setback.

"We're not sure how bad (Pattinson's injury is) at the moment," said Saker, who coached England's seam bowlers on their last two Ashes tours.

Nathan Coulter-Nile is Australia's back-up pace option should they need four quick bowlers at any point in the Ashes, as Starc (foot), Hazlewood (side) and Cummins - rested from the Twenty20 leg of the India tour - all seek to prove their fitness for the Ashes in domestic Sheffield Shield fixtures.

Irish Independent

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