Pattinson’s punt on bowling action switch pays off

(Reuters) – James Pattinson says a between-innings change to his bowling action was behind the five-wicket haul that fired Australia to victory in the first test against West Indies on Saturday and cemented his place in the side for the rest of the series. The 25-year-old Victorian had mustered up mediocre first innings figures of 0-68 in his first test in 18 months after returning from back

James Pattinson
James Pattinson

and hamstring problems to replace the injured Mitchell Starc in the side. After West Indies were forced to follow-on, however, he ditched the action designed to protect him from the back injuries that have blighted his 14-test career and took 5-27 in eight overs. “I just ran in and wanted to bowl fast like I did when I first came on the scene,” Pattinson, who took five-wicket hauls in his first two tests in 2011, told reporters in Hobart on Sunday. “It’s hard because when you run in and bowl you don’t want to be thinking about your action. “I’ve made the change to try and stop injuries but now that I’m back in the team and I’m a bit older, hopefully my body will hold up and I can go back a little bit to where I was when I first started playing. “Because that’s when I think I’m bowling my best.” Pattinson is one of a string of Australian bowlers whose workload and action have been carefully managed to try to protect them from the long-term back problems that can afflict young pacemen. The right-armer said, however, that the new action did not allow him to produce the sort of swing that made him such a threat to batsmen when he burst onto the scene four years ago. Fearing that he might therefore fail to grasp the opportunity to re-establish himself as a test bowler, Pattinson gambled by reverting to his old action after consultation with bowling coach Craig McDermott. “It was frustrating because I had changed my action and I didn’t feel completely comfortable with it,” he added. “So in the second innings here I just went ‘stuff it really, I’m just going to go out and try and bowl like I used to bowl’ and just run in and bowl fast. “I thought if I bowl like I did in the first innings I probably won’t be getting too many more games, so better change something.”

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