New Victoria coach David Saker feels James Pattinson has the potential to be one of the best bowlers in the world.
Pattinson was ruled out of Australia’s tour of the West Indies due to a hamstring injury, the latest in a long line of setbacks.
Since being sent home from the 2013 Ashes tour due to a stress fracture of the lower back, the paceman has played only one Test.
That was against South Africa in 2014, when he suffered another back injury.
Prior to that there were foot and side issues, meaning the 25-year-old has played only 13 Tests.
“James is a special sort of talent. We’ve got to try and get him on the park, not just for Victoria but Australia,” Saker said on Tuesday.
“If he gets on the park, he’s one of the best bowlers in the world.
“He’s had some injury dramas, most fast bowlers do.
“But we can sort that out. I’m really excited to be working with him again.”
Saker was an assistant coach at Victoria when Pattinson first showed how well he could swing the ball and bother batsmen.
The former England bowling coach is confident the 25-year-old has the mettle to return to his best.
“I’m sure fast bowlers do go through that (self-doubt),” Saker said.
“But if you know the character he is, he’ll just keep fighting and keep fighting.”
The Bushrangers may be reigning Sheffield Shield champions, but there’s plenty for Saker to work on.
Take for example the state’s one-day record.
In the past 16 seasons, Victoria have only once won the 50-over competition.
It’s something the 49-year-old, who carved out an impressive playing career with Victoria and Tasmania, is desperate to change.
“Our one-day cricket last year was quite disappointing,” Saker said.
“Quite a lot of our pre-season will be focused on Matador Cup.
“We have to perform better than we did last year and with the team we’ve got, we should be able to do that.”