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Late Test call-up for Patterson after impressive audition

Cricket

Kurtis Patterson’s twin tour-game centuries against Sri Lanka have earned him a shot at a national debut with a late call-up to Australia’s Test squad.

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Patterson made scores of 157 and 102 for a Cricket Australia XI and the pink ball in Hobart last week, making him a possible solution to the national team’s batting woes for the first Test against Sri Lanka starting at the Gabba on Thursday.

The 25-year-old New South Welshman upstaged Australia’s first Test squad members Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Will Pucovski who all failed to push their case in the tour match which ended in a draw on Saturday.

Patterson’s back-to-back tons against the tourists continued his recent run of form which included a century in Sydney Premier Cricket a week prior to the Hobart clash and an unbeaten 107 for NSW in the Sheffield Shield before Christmas.

“Kurtis has been pushing his case for selection for some time, he has been a consistent top order player for New South Wales, was a member of the Australian A tour of India prior to the commencement of our summer, and was most recently selected to compete in the day night tour match against Sri Lanka in Hobart,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said.

“We have been asking batters around the country to score hundreds if they want to be considered for selection, and given Kurtis’ consistent performances for NSW and his two unbeaten centuries in last week’s tour match against our upcoming opponent, Sri Lanka, we believe he deserves to be added to the Test squad.”

Patterson will join Australia’s team for their first training session in Brisbane on Monday morning before the two-Test series.

He has faced the third most balls of any player in the Shield this summer, after Australia’s failure to occupy time at the crease became a real problem in their Test series loss to India.

On the fringe of selection for a number of years, the left-hander averages 41 in first-class cricket with six centuries and 26 half centuries and is considered one of the more technically sound players in the country.

Patterson first made many sit up and take notice when he became the youngest player to reach a Shield century at 18 with an impressive 157 on debut for the Blues in 2011.

It is believed Patterson will either fight it out for a Test spot with Pucovski or both will be called up and incumbent batsman Marnus Labuschagne will be excluded for the pink ball Test in Brisbane.

Labuschagne hit a second innings 50 against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

– AAP

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