Pattinson, Siddle nursing niggles, but sure to play TestDecember 16th, 2011 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Dec 16 (IANS) Australian fast bowlers James Pattinson and Peter Siddle both have niggles and their injuries are being carefully monitored to make sure they are fit for the Boxing day Test against India in Melbourne.
Pattinson has a slight calf strain and Siddle an elbow problem, but they are still expected to be fit to play one of the first two Big Bash League games for the Melbourne Stars before joining the Test squad at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) next week.
Australian coach Mickey Arthur said the two pacers need to be nursed, but they are certain to play the Boxing Day Test.
Australia have been hit badly hit by injuries to their fast bowlers and cannot afford to lose either Pattinson, who has starred with five-wicket hauls in each of his first two Tests against New Zealand, or Siddle, who was pretty hostile.
But Arthur expressed immense faith in the management procedures that will be overseen by Melbourne-based physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, and has been in close contact with the Stars coach, Greg Shipperd, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Patto is nursing a little bit of a calf strain at the moment so we need to be very careful with him and Sids has got a recurrence of that little elbow injury of his. Nothing serious, but we just need to manage them properly. Alex is all over it because he is in Melbourne so I’ve got no issues that the right decisions will be made.
“If the Test match was starting tomorrow we would probably push them through it. It is just managing those niggles they have.”
Sensational opening batsman David Warner also has to go through a fitness test for a sore back before he captains the Sydney Thunder against the Stars at the MCG Saturday night.
Warner said he had to keep moving to prevent his back from stiffening up, and admitted the Twenty20 game before next week’s Chairman’s XI match against India was not the ideal warm-up for an important Test series.
Arthur said the collision of formats created by the schedule, and not a desire to impose three days of naughty-boy nets on the underperforming batsmen, was at forefront of his thinking when he summoned seven players including senior men Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin to a pre-Test batting camp in Melbourne before the Border-Gavaskar series begins.
“We want to talk about India, we will have video footage of India, we want them to start thinking Test cricket so their minds are firmly and solely on Test cricket and not on Big Bash cricket,” Arthur said.
“The last thing I want is our batters to go out and clear the front leg and try to play big shots when in four days time they are going to be up against a very good Indian attack and are going to need to be a lot tighter than that. I understand that is the modern way and all the good players adapt to that, there’s no doubt about that, but I want our focus to be getting our core batters in the right frame of mind for Boxing Day,” he said.
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