Kurtis Patterson’s fine form has continued.
Kurtis Patterson’s fine form has continued.

Test hopeful’s timing couldn’t be worse

Cricket Australia, we have a problem.

The warm up match between a CA XI and Sri Lanka in Hobart was supposed to give Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne and Will Pucovski valuable batting practice after being rushed into the Australian Test squad.

But the quartet has been overshadowed by 25-year-old NSW batsman who smashed two unbeaten centuries in the match to launch calls for him to be rushed into the Aussie squad.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported there are no plans for the selectors to rush Patterson into the side.

You can forgive selectors for not putting Patterson's name up in lights.

In 11 innings in the Sheffield Shield this season, Patterson has scored 428 runs at 47.55 with a century and three fifties. It makes him the competition's 11th highest runscorer this season and he sits third in the NSW side behind Nick Larkin (494 runs at 49.40) and Daniel Hughes (462 runs at 46.20).

Burns was also ahead of Patterson with 472 runs at 47.20 despite not having hit a century this season.

For Patterson, his focus has been on turning his starts into hundreds and while he'll be thrilled to have tonned up twice in the tour match, it's come too late for a Test berth as selectors picked the squad before a ball was bowled in Hobart.

He roared into form against Sri Lanka on Thursday with 157 not out before he followed up with 102 not out today.

In grade cricket last weekend, playing for St George against Western Suburbs, he hammered 167 not out off 147 balls. That came after he hit 107 in Perth in the second innings of the penultimate Shield match before the Big Bash break.

Kurtis Patterson is loving his cricket at the moment.
Kurtis Patterson is loving his cricket at the moment.
 

Patterson said he feels like he's turned a corner with converting his starts into centuries.

"It was a big (issue) last year, I went too far and tried to change my game once I did get into the forties, fifties or sixties," Patterson said.

"There's obviously been a bit of chat about that (conversion rate) for the last little bit.

"I feel like there was a big monkey off the back in Perth which was really nice.

"This year I've done a lot of work with my coaches, I need to give some credit to Beau Casson (the NSW Blues assistant coach and former Test spinner).

"Really this year, it's been about maintaining my thoughts and what I've been doing to get to 40 or 50, and having a more relaxed nature when I am at the crease.

"The hundred came at Perth but I feel like it could have come in those early games because the mentality has been there that entire season, which has been nice."

Kurtis Patterson has long been on selectors’ radars.
Kurtis Patterson has long been on selectors’ radars.

Patterson averages 41 at Shield level in 58 games with six centuries and 26 fifties.

His performance in Hobart has started calls for him to be thrust into the Test arena against Sri Lanka next week and undoubtedly a brighter spotlight when Shield action returns.

He feels like the run floodgates are about to open.

"To go out there and get a big hundred for my club side, and again today, I just feel like it's off the shoulders, that weight's not there," Patterson said after the first century.

"I can go out there with some really good clarity and just play my game.

"Personally, I feel really hungry at the moment and I feel like I'm batting really well, so I guess those are the two things you want as a batter."

Meanwhile, the four players selected for the Australian squad had mixed matches.

Burns scored 4 and 22, Renshaw 7 and 10, Labuschagne 6 before a second innings 50 and Pucovski chipped in with 23 and 33 not out.

Speaking to cricket.com.au, Cricket Australia XI bowler Scott Boland said it was disappointing for Burns and Renshaw in particular to miss out.

"When the ball is brand new it's the hardest time to bat and as soon as the lacquer goes off it makes it a touch easier," he said.

"They'd be disappointed with how they went but I don't think they'd be out of form.

"We played against Joe Burns in the (second) last Shield game before Christmas and he batted really well.

"He was the best bat we came up against in the Shield season.

"I'm sure if he gets picked in the Test side in the coming weeks he'll be fine and ready to go."

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News Corp Australia


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