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James Pattinson gives Australia Ashes headache after announcing retirement
29th October 2021
James Pattinson has left Australia with a void to fill for the Ashes after announcing his surprise decision to retire from international cricket.
Pattinson - who had been capped 40 times for Australia - had previously hinted he would have liked to carry on, and have one more crack at the Ashes.
However, with no obvious cover for the Baggy Green's fearsome trio consisting of Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins, the Aussies bowling resources have been stretched.
And Pattinson, who had a setback in his recovery from a knee injury, which he suffered in an intra-squad Victorian trial game last month, confirmed his retirement in a statement.
The 31-year-old said: "Leading into pre-season I really wanted to give the Ashes a crack but in the end I haven't had the preparation I would have liked coming into the season.
"If I was to be part of the Ashes I would need to do myself and my team-mates justice. I didn't want to be in a position of battling with my body when you need to be 100% fit and ready to go at any time. That would not be fair to myself or the team."
Although the Aussies will be short of bodies in their pace attack, that hasn't deterred bookmaker sites in Australia, with the likes of PalmerBet and Bet365 installing the Baggy Green as the short-priced favourites to retain the Ashes. On home soil three years ago, Australia romped to a 4-0 victory.
The question may be who will come in to provide cover for Australia's pace attack? Peter Siddle has been mooted as a potential possibility, although he turns 37 next month.
But after his recent jibe about the Dad's Army nature of England's pace attack led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad , it may wreak of hypocrisy if Australia were to call him up.
Of course, Pattinson's experience would have been handy, especially as he was so destructive with the ball in the Test arena.
In 21 Test appearances, Pattinson collected 81 wickets, and he was quite economical with the ball as he took them at 26 runs apiece.
At home, Pattinson's numbers were extraordinary, grabbing 49 wickets from 11 matches at 21.87.
Pattinson has now given up his Cricket Australia contract, and he will have to play at least three Shield games for Victoria if he is going to secure a new state deal.
However, Pattinson hasn't given up the idea of playing county cricket again, which would be warmly welcome at Trent Bridge. Previously, he took 40 championship wickets for Nottinghamshire at just 15 runs apiece.
Pattinson's career has been plagued by injuries, but he recovered from back surgery to make the 2019 Ashes squad.
Now, the Ashes appears to be a bridge too far for Pattinson, and Australia will be praying that none of their pace attack picks up an injury. Either way, the Pattinson news adds a fascinating complexion to the Ashes series.
Pattinson would have fancied tearing into England's batting order, but Australia will still fancy their chances of exposing the tourists' fragilities.