James Pattinson a man of action

No Ryan Harris, no Mitchell Johnson and no Mitchell Starc ... no problems for Australia.

Questions were asked about which fast bowlers would step up after the retirements of Harris and Johnson, and the foot injury to Starc, which is expected to keep him out for up to 12 weeks.

But it seems if coach Darren Lehmann and his selectors were concerned, they needn't have been.

Josh Hazlewood showed he was happy to be the strike bowler with a man-of-the-match performance in the day/night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide, and then injury-prone Victorian James Pattinson also put his hand up as Australia destroyed the West Indies by an innings and 212 runs in the first Test in Hobart.

The 25-year-old struggled to find his rhythm in the first innings, finishing with 0-68 from 15 overs, Hazlewood doing the damage with 4-45. But Pattinson said he decided to give up the new bowling style he had adopted to try to prevent more injuries, and the result was spectacular. He led the way with 5-27 in the second innings, Hazlewood taking a back seat, although still impressive with 3-33.

"It was frustrating because I had changed my action and I didn't feel completely comfortable with it," Pattinson told reporters before his return to Melbourne yesterday. "So in the second innings 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.

"I thought if I bowl like I did in the first innings I probably won't be getting too many more games, so (I had) better change something."

Pattinson said he had looked at footage of his action from the first innings and decided the path his bowling arm was travelling in his delivery stride was starting too far away from his body, which meant he was losing arm speed as well as wrist position.

He discussed that with Australia fast-bowling coach Craig McDermott prior to the Test resuming on Saturday, and got the go-ahead to adopt elements of his previous bowling action - albeit one that comes with its inbuilt risk of injury.

That input, coupled with the advice of skipper Steve Smith, who confirmed after the match he had told Pattinson on Saturday morning to simply go out there and have fun by bowling fast, brought a stunning turnaround from his wicketless first innings.

"I just ran in and wanted to bowl fast like I did when I first came on the scene," Pattinson said.

"It's hard because when you run in and bowl you don't want to be thinking about your action. I had made the change to try and stop injuries, but 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. That's when I think I'm bowling my best."

It's hard to disagree.


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