‘s fast-bowling stocks have taken another hit with James Pattinson ruled out of this month’s Test tour of Bangladesh.
Pattinson, 27, has been replaced by Jackson Bird, who toured India earlier this year but did not play a Test.
Pattinson had complained of soreness in recent days and was sent for scans on Friday. These have shown inflammation around an old stress fracture which contributed to his long lay off last year.
The Victorian quick had returned from injury late in the n summer and helped the Bushrangers to the Sheffield Shield title. He recently returned from a successful stint in English county cricket and is said to be “shattered” by his latest injury.
It’s expected Pattinson will able to resume full training in about a month, ensuring his focus can be on regaining his Test spot ahead of the home Ashes series. He is expected to be available come the start of the domestic summer.
He played the last of his 17 Tests against New Zealand in Christchurch in February last year, and had been encouraged to modify his bowling action as a result of back problems.
Pattinson’s absence follows the decision to rest spearhead Mitchell Starc, who had complained of soreness in his foot after the Champions Trophy in England.
Bird will join Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the pace attack. Mitchell Swepson’s rise to becoming ‘s next frontline leg-spinner will continue after he was included in the squad.
The national selectors had initially indicated they would add a fourth fast bowler but opted for another spinning option. This came, in part, because the slated A tour of South Africa last month was scuttled as a result of the now-settled pay dispute. Bird had been one of four fast bowlers hoping to push for Test selection.
National selector Trevor Hohns said he was satisfied had enough fast-bowling depth. Batting allrounder Hilton Cartwright can also provide medium-pace, if selected in the XI.
“We are comfortable with the fast-bowling stocks we have in the squad so have opted to add an additional spinner given the conditions we are likely to face in Bangladesh,” Hohns said.
“Mitchell is a very exciting young leg-spinner who we think will benefit immensely from further experience in the sub-continent.”
Swepson, 23, has been on the selectors’ radar for some time, and their interest in him was confirmed when he was chosen for the Test tour of India earlier this year. He did not play a Test but benefited from the experience of training in the sub-continent conditions – a similar type he will face against a hungry Bangladesh keen to build on its improving form.
Nathan Lyon, ‘s most successful off-spinner, and left-arm finger spinner Ashton Agar were already included, the latter a controversial selection ahead of Steve O’Keefe, who had bowled to a shock victory in the opening Test against India in Pune when he claimed 12 wickets for the match.
That Swepson has now been chosen ahead of O’Keefe would suggest the national selectors have moved on from the left-arm finger spinner, who has found himself in trouble off the field. Swepson has not played in a game since the end of the Big Bash League series. The Queenslander’s last first-class match had been in December.
Leg-spinner great Shane Warne has provided strong public and private support for Swepson, having called for him to be selected for India, and also to play in the first Test. Warne has also given him a one-on-one practice session.
He had initially caught the eye of skipper Steve Smith when he was used as a net bowler on ‘s tour of Sri Lanka last year.
has not toured Bangladesh since 2006 when it claimed a 2-0 series win. The tourists will head into a pre-series camp in Darwin next week, before leaving for Bangladesh on August 18. They will play a two-day tour match in Fattulah from August 22, with the first Test in Dhaka beginning August 27.
AUSTRALIA TEST SQUAD: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Jackson Bird, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade