x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Australia fast bowler James Pattinson ruled out of rest of the Ashes

Paceman hit by stress fracture of the lower back and will return home for rehabilitation.

James Pattinson went through tests in a London hospital and will return home for rehabilitation. Sang Tan / AP Photo
James Pattinson went through tests in a London hospital and will return home for rehabilitation. Sang Tan / AP Photo

James Pattinson, the Australia fast bowler, will play no further part in this summer's Ashes series, Cricket Australia has confirmed.

Pattinson was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his lower back following Saturday's conclusion to the second Test defeat at Lord's and will return home to Australia after the third Test at Old Trafford.

"James Pattinson reported some hip and back soreness on the final day of the second Ashes Test," the team doctor Peter Brukner said.

"We had some scans done today in London that have identified an early stage low back stress fracture. Unfortunately he will not take any further part in this Test series and will commence a rehabilitation programme with the aim to have him back for the Australian summer."

No replacement for Pattinson has been called up ahead of this week's warm-up game against Sussex, though the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and the in-form Chadd Sayers could, if required, be called up from the Australia A squad currently playing in South Africa.

Before that option is considered, the selectors could opt to recall Mitchell Starc after he was left out for the 347-run hammering at Lord's, while James Faulkner and Jackson Bird are also available to back up Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris.

"While we are obviously disappointed for James, the selectors have five bowlers fit and ready to perform in England, providing them with many options," said Pat Howard, the Cricket Australia general manager.

"It is also important to note that several players have been performing for Australia A and are available to be called up at any stage if the NSP required them.

"We've been well planned to have as many bowlers fit and available in the lead-up to this important series and while this setback for James is disappointing, we are confident we have good fast bowling depth."

Bird and Faulkner could feature at Hove along with off-spinner Nathan Lyon, another option at Old Trafford should conditions lead Australia to change the balance of their attack.

A 2-0 series deficit means England could clinch the series with victory in Manchester, starting from August 1.

The problems facing the tourists are considerable, starting with the limp performances of the top-order batsmen but extending to their consistently muddled use of DRS and a number of off-field issues that are threatening to overshadow the main job of playing cricket.

Coach Darren Lehmann has already acknowledged the likelihood of changes and reserve wicketkeeper Matthew Wade is also set for a run-out against Sussex, while bad boy David Warner will return from Australia A duty in time for the third Test.

"I say all the time the whole 18 have a chance to play," said Lehmann.

"I'm not ruling anything out. That is what happens when you have two losses, every option is open.

"As selectors Rod [Marsh], John [Inverarity] and I will have to speak about it and see where we come to.

"Ashton [Agar] is a bit sore and I don't think he will play in Sussex so Nathan Lyon will play obviously. Then we just have to look at the wicket [at Old Trafford] because history shows it spins a bit.

"If it's going to spin we will certainly have a look at two spinners."

England have already banked three centuries in the series, two to Ian Bell and a maiden Ashes hundred to Joe Root, but Australia's batsmen have proved far too flimsy.

Indeed, the closest they have come to an Ashes ton was the 98 Agar scored from No 11 at Trent Bridge and few of the top seven have looked likely to better that.

"We have certainly got to bat better, we know that," admitted Lehmann.

"It's probably more of a mental thing. We need to make sure we're ready to go...have a good time down in Sussex, play some decent cricket and bat a lot longer than 90 overs.

"We had two guys get to 50 at Lord's but 50 isn't going to get us to where we need to go. [Michael] Clarke and [Usman] Khawaja batted really well but they need to make hundreds when they get to that position, just like young Root did.

"We have certainly had poor shot selection for a start, but (England) have bowled quite well, give them credit."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE