Australia head coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed that right-arm pacer James Pattinson will feature in the playing XI for the second Test against New Zealand beginning Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
“I am really looking forward to seeing Patto bowl and bowl well in this Boxing Day Test, which is his home ground as well,” cricket.com.au quoted Langer as saying on Saturday.
“James Pattinson was 12th man in the last game and I hope what I have shown in the last 18 months is that we have been really consistent in our selection.
“He’s been unlucky, he only played a couple of Tests in the Ashes and he is so hungry like Mitchell Starc.
“The way he has come back from playing (two) Tests in the Ashes has just been brilliant.”
Pattinson last played a Test for Australia in the five-match Ashes series in England. He featured in the Leed’s Test in August where he managed to pick three wickets in the game.
Australia had added Peter Siddle in their 13-man squad for the Boxing Day Test after Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the game with an injury.
The Tim Paine-led side currently hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match series having won the first Test by 296 runs in Perth.
Australia squad: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Peter Siddle.
New Zealand squad: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, B.J. Watling, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson (c).