James Pattinson will miss the first Test against Pakistan after being found guilty of a code of conduct breach stemming from Victoria’s Sheffield Shield loss to Queensland.
The Victorian paceman was reported for a slur against a Queensland player at the MCG last week. The level two offence is Pattinson’s third breach in the past 12 months, earning him an automatic one-game suspension.
It’s understood the comments were meant in jest but, in accepting his punishment on Sunday, Pattinson said there was no excuse for his behaviour.
“I made a mistake in the heat of the moment,” he said. “Straight away I realised I was in the wrong and I apologised immediately, both to the opponent and to the umpires. “I have done the wrong thing and accept the penalty. I’m gutted to miss a Test match, but the standards are there for a reason and the fault is mine.”
With Pattinson to now sit out of the first Test at the Gabba starting on Thursday, Mitchell Starc will likely join Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon in an all-New South Wales attack.
“It’s unfortunate, doesn’t sit with our values and he knows and understands that,” Australia captain Tim Paine said.
“Missing a Test match, potentially is a hard thing to deal with but he’ll learn from it and come back from it. James understands he’s let himself down, let the group down and we expect him to bounce back.”
Pattinson appeared set for a battle with Starc for the final pace bowling spot, with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting suggesting the Victorian was in the box seat.
Pattinson and Starc have been in fine Shield form, although the NSW bowler’s 17 wickets at an average of 17 outweigh Pattinson’s 11 at 29.
Ponting pointed to Australia’s reluctance to use Starc in the recent Ashes series when backing Pattinson to get the nod.
“Pattinson’s got a good record in Brisbane as well (29 first-class wickets at 20 at the Gabba compared to 38 at 31 for Starc),” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“That’s the other thing that might go in his favour; in a place where the ball does swing a bit, he generally pitches it up and takes it away from the right-handers.
“It’s a tough one but thinking about where they’ve come from and their reluctance to play Starc, I think they might lean Pattinson’s way again.”