Kurtis Patterson feels the time is right for him to be picked for Australia after three centuries in eight days convinced selectors he could be the answer to the Test team’s batting woes.
For so long on the periphery of a senior national team call-up, Patterson banged down a door that was seemingly closed for the summer with twin tour-game centuries against Sri Lanka in Hobart last week.
It also came after he notched up three figures for Sydney grade club St George last weekend, meaning he will enter Thursday’s day-night Brisbane Test with an unbeaten 426 runs in his past three innings if selected.
The runs prompted him to be added to Australia’s already-picked 13-man squad for the series against Sri Lanka, two summers after the left-hander first entered Test contention.
“I’m right at the top of my game now, so I’m actually really glad that the selection has come now rather than previously,” Patterson said.
“I am hitting the ball as well as I ever had and makes this addition to the squad really happy for me.
“You want to be picked when you’re playing well and I feel like I am at the moment.” Patterson arrived in Brisbane on Monday morning and later in the day had an hour-plus centre wicket and nets hitout alongside Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw, Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne.
The 25-year-old out performed them all facing the pink ball in Hobart with unbeaten scores of 157 and 102, while Labuschagne hit a half century.
Labuschagne likely leads a five-way race to fill three batting spots but Australia’s line-up has rarely been less settled after no player scored a century in the four Tests against India.
Meanwhile, Patterson first made many sit up and take notice of his talent when he became the youngest player to score a Shield century at 18 with an impressive 157 on debut for the Blues in 2011.
He has faced the third-most balls in the Sheffield Shield this summer with 428 runs at 47.55, at a time when Australia’s Test team has struggled to occupy the crease.
Technically sound, his biggest change this summer had been his mental application given his first-class record included 23 half-centuries but just four tons at the start of the season.
“I think almost just taking a step back and relaxing when I’m out there in the middle,” he said.
“In the last couple of years I’ve thought about it too much when I’ve got in where as this year I’m just letting it happen, just enjoying being in the present.
“It’s just been some mental changes throughout my thinking and trying to develop some simple sound routines when I bat.” (Courtesy Fox Sports)
Australia v Sri Lanka
First Test at The Gabba, Thursday (day-night)
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Jhye Richardson, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Kurtis Patterson
Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha