James Pattinson shattered New Zealand to emerge as Australia’s latest fast-bowling sensation with a man-of-the-match five-wicket innings haul in their first Test at the Gabba yesterday.
Pattinson, 21, given his first Test cap on the strength of nine first-class games, was irresistible as he claimed five for 27, including three wickets in four balls, in Australia’s nine-wicket win over the Black Caps inside four days.
Just two weeks after 18-year-old Pat Cummins’s man-of-the-match bowling performance in Australia’s two-wicket win over South Africa in Johannesburg, Pattinson provided more compelling evidence of Australia’s new pace breed.
Pattinson narrowly missed out on a hat-trick to help rout the Black Caps for 150 and leave Australia with the formality of chasing just 19 runs for victory.
Pattinson, whose elder brother, Darren, played a Test for England in 2008, destroyed the Black Caps’ top order, taking the first five wickets with an impressive full length at searing pace.
“We spoke about it before the game we wanted to try to bowl nice and full,” Pattinson said. “Pup [Clarke] supported me there and said it doesn’t matter if you get driven a couple of times, which I kept at the back of my head and tried to just keep doing the same thing and it paid off for me in the second innings.”
Unlike the butter-fingered Black Caps, the Australians latched onto the catches behind the wicket as Pattinson coaxed edges off the bat to devastating effect.
“I’ve probably seen that for a while now that there’s some young players that have been around first-class cricket who are now involved in the Australian setup who have had a lot of talent,” Clarke said. “It is just about giving them an opportunity to see how they go, and then trying to get better.
“Patto’s been around the group for a while now in regard to one day cricket, we’ve always known he’s had a lot of talent,” he said. “It was just about getting him as fit and strong as we could, him biding his time, going back to first-class cricket and taking wickets and waiting for an opportunity.”
Pattinson, who claimed Brendon McCullum’s wicket late on Saturday, removed Martin Guptill (12), Kane Williamson (0) and skipper Ross Taylor (0) in the space of four balls in his opening over yesterday.
Jesse Ryder barely survived Pattinson’s hat-trick ball, a 150kph yorker, before Doug Bracewell became his fifth victim, caught behind by Haddin for two in the 13th over of the innings.
Pattinson was asked which Black Cap wicket had given him the most satisfaction in his first Test.
“Probably that one [McCullum] early last night, definitely. Anyone who takes 13 off your first over in Test cricket you get a bit nervous bowling to him next time,” he said.
Australian cricket fans are salivating at the possibility that Pattinson might take the new ball with Cummins, should the youngster recover from a heel injury, for this week’s second Test in Hobart against New Zealand.