James Pattinson is a touch jealous of Australia’s Test squad members playing a Sheffield Shield match in New Zealand.
But Pattinson, who has bowled just 21.3 overs since the SCG Test, is confident he’ll be able to shake off the rust before the trans-Tasman series starts next Friday in Wellington.
Australia will regain the No.1 Test ranking if they defeat NZ 1-0 or 2-0 in Brendon McCullum’s farewell series.
Their preparation for the crunch clashes has been far from ideal – and not just because of the collapse of 5-8 and terrible defeat in the opening ODI in Auckland.
Coach Darren Lehmann has missed the start of the tour because of a blood clot, while there is no tune-up in the whites because of the ongoing three-match ODI series.
NSW and Western Australia are playing a Sheffield Shield match in the NZ town of Lincoln to help Adam Voges, Nathan Lyon and Peter Nevill adjust to local conditions.
Victorians Pattinson and Peter Siddle, Tasmania’s Jackson Bird, Queensland opener Joe Burns and South Australian seamer Chadd Sayers were not afforded the same luxury.
“That would have been nice (to play a Shield game in NZ). They’ve had a great preparation,” Pattinson said on Friday.
“Adam Voges got a hundred so he has seen the conditions.
“You have to be adaptable and everyone should be ready for it.”
Pattinson was sidelined throughout the Big Bash League and recent limited-overs action against India.
“My shins have been pretty sore throughout the whole summer. We’ve played on some pretty hard wickets,” the 25-year-old said.
“It just got a little bit worse than I thought it would, so it was just a bit of a rest (needed).”
The right-armer returned in the Victoria-Tasmania Shield clash at the MCG.
But he was withdrawn after two days of play, with Cricket Australian keen to ensure the potent paceman was cherry ripe for the opening Test at Basin Reserve.
“I haven’t really bowled much over the last three weeks,” Pattinson admitted.
“I was a bit rusty early on (in the Shield game) but then I hit my straps in the second innings.
“I’m feeling really good.
“The selectors and the medical staff are pretty happy with where I’m at.”