How BBL snub was blessing in disguise for Patterson
Time spent out of the Big Bash League has proven to be a blessing in disguise for last-minute Australian Test squad call-up Kurtis Patterson.
The NSW left-handed batsman has failed to get a look in for his BBL outfit Sydney Thunder's first nine matches this season.
Patterson instead used his time to work on his longer form game with NSW batting coach Beau Casson - an approach that may yet earn him a Test debut this week.
The only path for Test hopefuls this summer appeared to be the hit and giggle BBL with the Sheffield Shield on hiatus.
Yet Patterson is in line to make his baggy green debut in the pink-ball Gabba clash with Sri Lanka from Thursday after honing his technique with Casson backed by a NSW Premier Cricket stint with club St George.
The benefits were there for all to see when Patterson earned a Test squad call-up with back-to-back unbeaten tons for a Cricket Australia XI in their recent tour match against Sri Lanka in Hobart.
"I've got to give a lot of credit to Beau Casson. We have forged a really strong relationship and he has been absolutely fantastic for me," Patterson said after joining the Test squad in Brisbane on Monday.
"I looked at how the best players bat and consulted with him on what we thought was the best way forward - it's been a nice partnership with Beau."
Besides his tons in Tasmania, Patterson also stroked an unbeaten Shield century before Christmas and tuned up for the CA XI clash with 167 not out in a recent white-ball 50-over match for St George.
Patterson believed he was seeing the benefits of avoiding the BBL.
"I think so. I haven't been playing Big Bash but still training with the Big Bash staff," he said.
"But with Beau we have been doing some red ball stuff behind the scenes just trying to make sure I was on top of it.
"And once the CA game was announced I made sure I had a solid week of lead-up (red ball) work to really nail that longer form stuff ... just improving that technique again."
Now on top of his red ball game, Patterson is backing himself against the pink Kookaburra.
The last time he played a pink ball match at the Gabba he scored 111, sharing a 228-run third wicket stand with Steve Smith to help NSW thrash Queensland by 225 runs in the 2016-17 Shield opener.