Australia coach Mickey Arthur expects James Pattinson to figure in the later stages of the Commonwealth Bank triangular ODI series.
The 21-year-old fast bowler impressed in the first two Tests against India with 11 wickets at 23.36 but was forced to miss action subsequently because of a foot injury.
Pattinson, though, is recovering well. Arthur revealed that the fast bowler bowled at the nets before the ODI in Melbourne. “Pattinson, we might see at the back of the ODI tri-series,” Arthur said.
The Australian coach, however, did not think another injured young paceman Pat Cummins, would be able to make the ODI series. “We, perhaps, won't see Cummins until the tour of the West Indies,” he said.
Watson making progress
Key all-rounder Shane Watson, Arthur felt, was making good progress from his fitness concerns. “He is getting his body to the point where we want him to be. We do not want to put any time-frame on his return. I am in regular touch with him and he's a valuable player for us.”
Arthur said, “He should be playing in grade cricket soon and we could take things forward from there. At some stage, he'll bat down the order and bowl for us.”
Indeed, Arthur felt Watson opening the innings might not enable Australia make the most of his all-round ability. “It's about where best it fits us and where best it fits for him. He might be doing a fair bit of bowling for us and Michael Clarke has used him wisely. Whether he can sustain that level of bowling and continue to open the batting, that's the question.”
The Australian coach was pleased with Shaun Marsh, desperately out of form in international cricket, finding some runs with a 79 for Western Australia against Queensland in a Shield game recently. “That's the way for him, making plenty of runs in Shield cricket rather than playing in the ODIs.”
The reserve batsman in the ODI squad, Peter Forrest, Arthur said, would feature in the Australian side sometime during the tri-series. “We need to take a look at him before the tour of the West Indies,” he said.
Coach backs Haddin
Arthur also backed out-of-form wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin. “I think he did okay in the Test series against India. He could have got a few more runs but the middle-order made big runs and he did not always get an opportunity.”
In the same breath, the Aussie coach added, “It's good to see Wadey (Matthew Wade) pushing him. But we should be taking two 'keepers to the West Indies anyway. It will be a nice internal battle between them. I am looking forward to seeing who comes up trumps.”