Pattinson set for debut as Australia put brotherly ties on the line

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The Independent Online

James Pattinson is expected to follow his brother into international cricket today, although not for the same country. While Grimsby-born Darren played for England in a Test match two and a half years ago, James is tipped to represent Australia in this morning's Twenty20 match in Melbourne.

The younger Pattinson's elevation to the international game should prove far less controversial than that of his brother. The English game, remarkable as it may seem now, was down on its luck when Darren was called up for the Headingley Test against South Africa in 2008. He was seen as a desperation selection, his broad Australian accent counted against him and despite a decent performance he has never been seen in an England jersey again.

James – who will replace either Brett Lee or Shaun Tait, both of whom proved expensive in the Adelaide Twenty20 on Wednesday – is expected to enjoy a far more extensive international career. Born in Australia, the 20-year-old bowls fast and swings the ball, having honed his skills in backyard contests against his brother. Blood ties are likely to prove more influential than a national cap for Darren when it comes to deciding who to support in this morning's game. "I support [James] in his cricket," he said to The Independent last summer. "As far as England v Australia go, I don't support anybody. I just watch with a keen interest, really."

Pattinson is joining a team full of Victorians, in contrast to the Test side which is staffed chiefly by players from New South Wales. Already in the side are Cameron White, David Hussey and batsman Aaron Finch, who made his debut in Adelaide.

Brothers playing for different national teams is all but unknown now but in the early days of cricket – when England touring teams were thrown together by aristocrats – it did happen. The Trott brothers – one of whom, Albert, is reportedly the ancestor of England's Jonathan – represented England and Australia while the Hearns turned out for England and South Africa.

Stuart Broad is another with family links to Test cricket and he had good news of his own yesterday. A scan on the abdominal strain he picked up in the second Ashes Test came back all clear, opening the way for him to play in the World Cup, which begins next month in the Indian subcontinent.