BRISBANE: In-form Kurtis Patterson was added to Australia’s squad on Monday for the upcoming Tests against Sri Lanka as selectors try to fix a batting line-up that failed to fire during the home Tests against India.
The 25-year-old New South Wales batsman scored back-to-back centuries — unbeaten knocks of 157 and 102 — for the Cricket Australia XI in Hobart last week. National selector Trevor Hohns said Patterson had been “pushing his case for selection for some time”.
“We have been asking batters around the country to score hundreds if they want to be considered for selection,” Hohns added in a statement. “Given Kurtis’ consistent performances for NSW and his two unbeaten centuries in last week’s tour match against our upcoming opponent, Sri Lanka, we believe he deserves to be added to the Test squad.”
Patterson has played 58 first-class matches, scoring 3,813 runs with six centuries and 26 half-centuries at an average of 41.
The hosts had a poor Test series with the bat against India and no Australian reached triple figures at home in a series of four Tests or more for the first time since 1882-83.
Patterson, meanwhile, has picked out New South Wales batting coach Beau Casson for helping him secure a call-up to the Test squad.
Casson was appointed New South Wales batting coach at the start of the season and Patterson has credited him with improving his game.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Beau Casson, we’ve forged a really strong relationship and he’s absolutely fantastic for me,” Patterson said. “I really enjoy the way he goes about his coaching, we get along really well on a personal level, which helps to start with, and I think he really understands batting and cricket.
“He keeps it really simple which I think is what I’ve been lacking in previous years, going too far the other way. He’s just a good coach who knows the right things to say.” The first Sri Lanka Test — a day-night fixture — starts from Thursday in Brisbane. The second will be played in Canberra.
Revised squad: Tim Paine (captain), Jhye Richardson, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Kurtis Patterson.
Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2019