James Pattinson‘s pace and fire will be missing from Australia A’s day-night match against the England Lions at the MCG from Saturday due to a back complaint, after he pulled up sore from bowling in cub cricket.
The Queensland pace bowler Mark Steketee has been called in to replace Pattinson, while Cricket Australia medical and fitness staff deliberate over whether Pattinson will require scans on his troublesome back.
In a worrying sign for Pattinson following his long and arduous return from radical back surgery in New Zealand to take his place on the 2019 Ashes tour alongside Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, he complained of back and hip soreness following club games for Dandenong.
In the round 13 Victoria Premier Grade match between Dandenong and Monash Tigers on February 8 and 9, Pattinson claimed 2 for 48 from 18 overs. He was then selected for the following round’s game between Dandenong and Melbourne, which was abandoned without Pattinson either batting or bowling.
In addition to Steketee, the NSW swing bowler Harry Conway has also been added to the Australia A squad. Michael Neser, Jackson Bird and the wristspinner Mitchell Swepson are the other members of the bowling attack.
The likes of Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Nic Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson, Marcus Stoinis and the Australia A captain Moises Henriques will be among those jostling for potential batting positions in the Australian Test squad to travel to Bangladesh later this year, while also putting down a marker against an England Lions squad that is gaining experience ahead of the next Ashes series in Australia in 2021-22.