Mumbai Indians received a significant setback before IPL 2020 when their veteran fast bowler Lasith Malinga made himself unavailable for the season. The defending champions signed Australian pacer James Pattinson as Malinga's replacement, in a bid to bolster their pace attack.
Mumbai now has Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell McCleneghan, Hardik Pandya, and Pattinson in their fast bowling department. Even Kieron Pollard can bowl some medium pace in the middle overs.
It is worth noting that Pattinson has not played in the IPL yet. Hence, the Indian fans might not know much about him. Here are five things that you need to know about the Aussie pacer before IPL 2020.
5. IPL 2020 is the not the first time Pattinson has earned a contract in the tournament
Knight Riders, James Pattinson has unfortunately been ruled out of IPL 6 due to injury. Who would you like to see as his replacement? #KKR— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 4, 2013
While James Pattinson has never played in the IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders had snapped him up for $100,000 in the 2011 Auction. The Kolkata-based franchise did not give an opportunity Pattinson to showcase his talent with the ball, and in 2013, he was ruled out of the IPL because of an injury.
He returned to Test cricket a few months ago, and Pattinson will be keen to stay fit for IPL 2020.
4. James Pattinson won the Man of the Series award in his debut Test series
#AusvNZ: James Pattinson named Man of the series for 14 wickets in 2 Tests— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) December 12, 2011
James Pattinson made his Test debut for Australia in 2011. Playing against neighbours New Zealand, Pattinson scalped six wickets in his first Test. Ross Taylor was his first Test wicket, and he dismissed him in the second innings too. Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, and Doug Bracewell were the other four Kiwi batsmen who lost their wickets to Pattinson.
The Victorian fast bowler continued his form in the next Test match at the Bellerive Oval and finished with eight wickets. Pattinson won the Man of the Series award for his excellent performances. Mumbai Indians would hope for him to replicate this form during IPL 2020.
3. James Pattinson has not played a T20I since 2012
James Pattinson has played only 4 T20Is for the Australian cricket team. He began his international career in the shortest format against South Africa in October 2011. After picking three wickets in two matches against the Proteas, Pattinson played in the series against West Indies. However, he went wicketless in two games.
Subsequently, his injury issues did not allow him to play regularly for Australia, and he lost his place in the T20I team. An impressive IPL 2020 season could help him regain his spot before the upcoming ICC T20 World Cups.
2. Pattinson has dismissed 3 of India's Fab 4 in Test cricket
After an impressive performance against New Zealand, James Pattinson earned a place in Australia's team for the home Test series against India. Pattinson scalped six wickets in the Boxing Day Test, with Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman being two of his six wickets.
In the next match, Pattinson got the better of Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, thereby managing to dismiss three members of India's legendary Fab 4 group. While Sourav Ganguly had already retired before that series, Pattinson managed to also pick up the wickets of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli.
The Melbourne-based player will share the dressing room with Tendulkar as part of the Mumbai Indians set-up during IPL 2020.
1. James Pattinson might not have made it to IPL 2020
James Pattinson will likely make his debut for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020, but four years ago, he considered quitting the game. His constant injury issues forced him to rethink his career, but Pattinson did not give up and returned to the Australian team after a hiatus.
"I was almost going to walk away from the game. My life was all over the shop. I didn't know what I wanted. I got as low as I've been in terms of life and cricket," he told cricket.com.au in an interview.
He highlighted that his wife, Kayla, played a significant role in organizing his life. After seven years, James Pattinson has earned an IPL contract, and he would want to bring his 'A' game to the table in IPL 2020.