The Ashes: James Pattinson ready for revenge over brother's England fate

Darren was dropped after one Test but James has opted for Australia and tells Stephen Brenkley they can regain the Ashes

Australia's bowlers are the real deal. Common consent and common sense both insist that any hope of recapturing the Ashes lies in their hands.

Within their ranks there is no deal more real than James Pattinson, 95mph of sleek pace, deceptive hostility and late movement. If the terracotta urn which creates all the fuss is to change hands, expect Pattinson to have invaded the souls of England's batsmen.

Like so many of the speed merchants' breed, Pattinson is a gentle and genial chap off the field with plenty of time for a yarn. On it, he is a menace and at 23, 10 matches and 40 inexpensive wickets into his Test career, he is approaching his peak.

"I like the pressure coming into a big series," he said at Worcester this week as the tourists continued their rehabilitation following the dramas of their early weeks in England. "I like having that expectation to do well. All the fast bowlers need that.

"That's the big thing about international cricket. You're only in it for a short time, and you're expected to perform well. Within this team at the moment, we've got a lot of young guys with amazing talent."

It was an Australian type of response to the question, open and confident, which might be expected except that Pattinson has English parents. His dad John is from Grimsby, his mum Sue, from Wombwell in Yorkshire, home of the most famous Cricket Lovers' Society in the world. The name might be familiar since his elder brother, Darren, 11 years his senior, infamously played one Test for England in 2008.

Pattinson senior was called up to take on South Africa at Headingley after playing only six matches for Nottinghamshire five years ago. He took 2 for 90 as England lost by 10 wickets and never played again.

It was hardly his fault that he was picked, although he was playing county cricket in slightly confused circumstances: an Englishman who had emigrated with his parents at the age of six and was able to ply his trade here as a non-overseas player. Young James, born in Melbourne, has a dual passport but no such dilemma.

"Playing for England was talked about a couple of times," he said. "When my Dad still supported England when I was a young fella it was like 'You should go and play over there' and I was like 'No, no, no'. When I was about six or seven we moved back over to live. But we lasted six months –Mum didn't like the cold. If she had liked the weather over here it might have been a different story."

The brothers' father, John, continued to support England until Darren was cast aside so summarily. His change of allegiance did not prevent England trying to lure his second son.

"Dad has always been that hard-nosed guy that stuck by where he's come from," said James. "He didn't like the way Darren was treated over here, it wasn't his fault he played and was made the scapegoat.

"Before I played cricket for Australia, David Saker was in my ear trying to get me to play for one of the counties when he moved over to coach here with England. I owe a lot to Australian cricket. They've been good to me through the junior ranks and gave me the opportunity to get to where I am now."

Where he is now could make the difference for Australia this summer. One of the abiding images of their humiliation in India earlier this year, when they lost 4-0, was of Pattinson in the opening Test. Running in with venom, he removed Murali Vijay with a blistering yorker which beat the batsman for speed and then undid Virender Sehwag with a shorter ball which clattered into the bat and on to the stumps. Here was the paceman as terrorist.

"Reading a few things over the past month people have written us off and said we can't win," he said. "Well, I think differently to that and we can win." He would be much too nice a bloke to wave around his British passport afterwards.

Suggested Topics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines