Neser the dark horse to beat Pattinson to Aussie call-up

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Josh Hazlewood’s injury has opened the door for squad members James Pattinson and Michael Neser to battle it out for a call-up to the Australian side for the Boxing Day Test.

Hazlewood suffered a hamstring injury on day two of the first Test against New Zealand in Perth, with the remainder of his summer now in doubt.

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As far as international experience goes Pattinson is the obvious choice. The Victorian has played 19 Tests to Neser’s zero, including two Tests in Australia’s drawn series against England to retain the Ashes.

Pattinson has taken 75 wickets for Australia in the longest format at an average of 26.64, with four five-wicket hauls and best figures of 5-27.

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The 29-year-old has also taken 16 wickets in 15 one day internationals for Australia.

Neser at 29 has yet to debut for Australia in Tests and has just two one day internationals for his country, taking two wickets at an average of 60.

Michael Neser is in better form than James Pattinson in the Marsh Sheffield Shield.Source:AAP

However a closer look at the duo’s output since the start of the Ashes series gives Neser the edge on form.

During this time Pattinson has taken 30 wickets at an average of 22.67, while Neser has 33 wickets to his name at a superior click of 16.79.

Since the start of the Ashes tour:
Pattinson – 30 wickets @ 22.67
Neser – 33 wickets @ 16.79

Neser is also having the more productive summer of the two for his State.

The Queensland firebrand ranks eighth best for wickets taken with 19 from just four games in the Marsh Sheffield Shield to date, at an average of 19.31 with best figures of 5-56.

Pattinson has also played just four games, but has five fewer scalps at an average of 28.64, with a best showing of 4-66.



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The result of the first Test could play a large part in which way the selectors decide to go should Hazlewood miss the remainder of the series.

Victorian Pattinson will be the hometown favourite to play in the Boxing Day Test in front of his own fans, particularly if Australia go 1-0 up after Perth.

However his own injury concerns in the past could lead the selectors to opt for Neser in the final Test of the series in Sydney.

Should Australia win the first two Tests then handing Neser a debut in a dead rubber would make since, particularly given the short turnaround between the MCG and SCG Tests.

James Pattinson has the experience edge over Michael Neser.Source:AAP

However given his form in the last six months, Neser could seriously challenge for a place in the XI for Melbourne at Pattinson’s expense.

It would be a brave call, but the selectors have shown a willingness to pick players on form in recent times.

On form Neser just might have the edge over his Victorian rival.



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Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood*, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson*, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Neil Wagner

* Under injury cloud

Originally published asNeser the dark horse to beat Pattinson to Aussie call-up

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