Pattinson puts all his eggs in the Ashes basket


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Australia Nets - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 3, 2019 Australia's James Pattinson during nets Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia quick bowler James Pattinson concedes he's a long shot to make the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in India in October and November but has his eyes firmly fixed on playing in his third Ashes series at the end of the year.

The 30-year-old is a fearsome strike bowler at his best but back injuries and Australia's fast-bowling depth have conspired to restrict him to 21 tests since he made his debut a decade ago.

Pattinson was reduced to tears when a back stress fracture ended his first Ashes campaign after two tests in England in 2013 and he underwent spinal fusion surgery four years later in desperate attempt to fix the recurrent problem.

The results have been impressive and Pattinson reckoned he was as fit as he has been in a good while as he prepared to lead the Victoria attack in the Sheffield Shield this week.

"In terms of my body it probably feels the best that it has and in terms of my back - it's come really good," he said.

"There's plenty of time, I'm only 30 now. There's obviously the Ashes next year, which is probably the next challenge.

"I'd love to play all formats but I haven't played (enough) T20 cricket. I'll be focusing more on pre-season and putting all my eggs in trying to get ready for the Ashes."

Pattinson featured in two tests when Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 but failed to get on the field during this season's home series against India, missing out on possible selection for the last two tests after a fall at home.

He said it had been a frustrating home summer compounded by the biosecurity measures designed to protect the players from COVID-19.

"You're sitting in a hub and you're 12th or 13th man for Australia - which is fantastic - but ... you're missing out on playing cricket," Pattinson added.

"You're bowling in the nets and at times it can be frustrating as a 30-year-old when you've done a lot of that already."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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