Australia v West Indies: James Pattinson tosses out new action with immediate success

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Reborn Australian fast bowler James Pattinson has revealed he tossed out a new action carefully designed to safeguard his body against further injury in the second innings in Hobart, saying “stuff it”, as he reverted to his former style with immediate success.

The Victorian, playing his first Test in Australia for three years and first anywhere for more than 18 months, struggled for penetration in the West Indies’ first innings at Blundstone Arena as he adhered to the confines of a reworked action he began bowling with after a second stress fracture last year.

It convinced him to go back to what was natural and the result was spectacular as he tore through the tourists to claim 5-27.

“It was frustrating because I had changed my action and I didn’t feel completely comfortable with it and I think in the second innings here I just went ‘stuff it really, I’m just going to go out and try and bowl like I used to bowl’ and just run in and bowl fast,” Pattinson said on Sunday.

“And I thought, ‘If I bowl like I did in the first innings I probably won’t be getting too many more games, so you better change something’.

“So it’s been a frustrating six months or so but it’s good to get a bag of wickets now.”

That’s all well and good but the obvious question is how the 25-year-old’s body will hold up now that he’s brushed the new action. After all, it was designed in an effort to prevent more of the breakdowns that have interrupted his career since his Test debut four years ago.

Pattinson, now a more sturdy 93kg rather than the 86kg tearaway who burst onto the scene against New Zealand in 2011, hopes he is less susceptible to injury these days.

“I’ve made the change to try and stop injuries but hopefully now that I’m back in the team and I’m a bit older, hopefully my body will hold up and I can go back a little bit to where I was when I first started playing because that’s when I think I’m bowling my best,” he said.

“I was speaking to (Australian bowling coach) Craig McDermott after the first day about where I was releasing the ball from and my action, and I said ‘I haven’t really been feeling that comfortable with it over the last six months. And he said just run in and don’t worry about it and I did that.

“I’m a bit older now and hopefully my body will be right and I’m sort of somewhere in between (the old and new actions).”

Pattinson said he felt like the paceman of old once he got his wrist behind the ball more in the second innings.

“I was really struggling to get it through to the keeper, and bowl that good channel and get that good outswing with my wrist behind the ball. That was the trouble,” he said.

“It felt like I was trying extremely hard to do that, whereas the second innings when I came out I was running straight lines and had my wrist behind the ball it felt pretty easy.

“It’s all got to do with my arm path. It’s not much but it’s just little things that I can see on video and pick up and try and change along the way.

“I just ran in and wanted to bowl fast like I did when I first came on the scene. I looked at a bit of vision the night before and I wasn’t releasing the ball in the right position, where I wanted to. So I did a little bit of work on it in the morning just to get my wrist behind the ball a bit more and get that seam good for outswing.”

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