He featured in two of the Ashes Tests in England this year, but was ruled out of contention for the first Test of the home season against Pakistan after being suspended for making an alleged homophobic slur while playing in a Sheffield Shield game for Victoria against Queensland last month.
It was Pattinson’s third breach of Cricket Australia’s code of conduct in 18 months, and leaves him vulnerable to a longer suspension should he transgress again.
But the aggressive paceman, whose fiery streak has long been a hallmark of his game, said on Monday that while he had tried to learn from his mistake, he would not be dramatically changing his ways.
“I think I just play cricket in the way I know how to,” Pattinson said.
“And I suppose if that’s pushing the line, it’s pushing the line. But I think obviously when you go through setbacks like that and getting suspended you have to obviously, you know, think about that a little bit more. But again, I think I get the best out of my cricket when I’m, you know, when I’m getting up there and, you know, going 100 per cent so, you know, I think I’m not going to hold back. Obviously there’s a line, sometimes you cross it and I think I look back on that. You just sort of you know, you learn from those mistakes and you try to address them.”
While Pattinson said he hadn’t yet been told definitively that he would be returning against the Black Caps, his inclusion has been all but confirmed by Australian coach Justin Langer.
Pattinson is set to take the place of injured fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood, however the Victorian indicated he was unlikely to take the new ball against New Zealand, with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins ahead of him in the pecking order.
Pattinson said he had tried to remain upbeat during his extended absence from the national side, but acknowledged there had been a chance he would not get back.
“The world we live in now think you know, you gotta expect that things could pass you by. After being through so much disappointment with my back. You know, it’s always in the back of your mind. But I like to keep a good mind on things and, you know, just try and, you know, work one day at a time and see if that opportunity comes back.”
He added that he was hopeful many of his friends would be able to watch him play in his home Test.
“It’s always special, especially being a Victorian on Boxing Day. I was lucky enough to play in two before this. And hopefully if I get the nod again, I can play another one.
“I’ve been hungry pretty much my whole career. It’s no different now. I’ve been through a lot of setbacks. The hunger has always been there. So hopefully if I get rewarded with a game I can put in a good performance.”
Daniel is an Age sports reporter