When I awoke this morning to hear the news of England team selection for the 2nd test match against South Africa at Headingley I was absolutely flabbergasted by the risk that the selectors had taken.
Darren Pattinson, who is virtually unknown even on the county scene in England having only played 5 matches in this country and only another 6 in Australia to be selected over the likes of Ashes heroes Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones just left me completely shell shocked.
Pattinson, who is 30 next week, was recommended to the England selectors by Nottinghamshire captain David Hussey. There is no doubt the lad must have talent but i just cannot see him having any major future in the England team and I cannot see this gamble being taken by Geoff Miller and his selection team paying off in the match at headingley.
His selection also sends out a very bad signal to the rest of England county players and especially players such as Chris Tremlett who is selected in the team of 12 for every test match but for some reason seems to be overlooked even when injury occurs, also players such as Liam Plunkett, Saj Mahmood, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones and Steve Harmison who have been working hard all season with great success in an attempt to force there way back into the England side must now be questioning there international future and if they lose there focus on getting into the England team then some great talent in the English game would be wasted.
Even Micheal Vaughan when asked about Pattinson had no clue what to say, Matthew Hoggard when interveiwed this afternoon said he thought he was an Australian Kolpak player so this really is a major gamble by the selectors to bring in someone with so little first class experience and knowledge of english playing conditions.
All we can do as English supporters is hope the lad does well in this match but if he doesn't and Sidebottoms not fit for the 3rd test we must hope that the selectors so some sense and bring back either Simon Jones Or Matthew Hoggard who would be my preferred choices.