With 5 for 27 in his debut Test against New Zealand, James Pattinson, then 21, announced himself on the world stage
With 5 for 27 in his debut Test against New Zealand, James Pattinson, then 21, announced himself on the world stage

With 5 for 27 in his debut Test against New Zealand, Australia‘s James Pattinson, then 21, announced himself on the world stage and such was the talent and potential shown from the Victorian that it did not take pundits long to call him the next big thing in Australian cricket.

Fast forward to 2018, Pattinson now 28, has only 17 Test and 15 ODIs to his name. Once heralded as the fearsome bowler alongside another up and coming quick Pat Cummins, Pattinson is on the road to recovery and on a road back to the international since, literally from the brink.

While a spate of injuries has pushed Pattinson in the what-could-have-been category, the 28-year-old, after a major back surgery, is once again up and running and one thing that is fueling his need to wear the baggy green, is the Ashes.

“My big goal is playing the Ashes in England,” Pattinson told cricket.com.au. “That’s the main reason I had the surgery. I was almost going to walk away from the game. My life was all over the shop. I didn’t know what I wanted. I got as low as I’ve been in terms of life and cricket.

It was a big decision for Pattinson to undergo the surgery. He was chronically infirm vertebra which has cracked four times and the after the surgery it has been bolstered with screws and bound with wires.

The surgery is almost a last resort given repeated stress fractures in the same place are relatively uncommon, even in fast bowlers.

Pattinson has played a few games this year and is expected to make comeback in the Sheffield Shield, but the his eyes are strictly on bigger goal – the Ashes.

“That’s the pinnacle now winning an Ashes series away. Hopefully I’m going to have the opportunity to do that, if I can get right,” he said.

He knows that as a fast bowler there isn t much time left for him, for his body to take the toll that is demanded of an international cricketer.

“I look at my career now and I know I’m more than halfway through. If I can get to 35, I’ll be happy, especially with what I’ve had to overcome. There will come a point when my body won’t be able to take it. and I’ll have to accept that, he adds.