Moores stands by Pattinson pick
England coach Peter Moores defended the selection of Darren Pattinson for the second npower Test against South Africa by insisting he was the man in form.
The 29-year-old seamer won a surprise call-up for the clash at Headingley Carnegie despite having played only six first-class matches for Nottinghamshire this summer.
However, his record of 29 wickets at an average of under 21 elevated him above the likes of Chris Tremlett, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison and Simon Jones when Ryan Sidebottom was ruled out with a back problem.
Mindful of the overhead conditions, Pattinson was viewed as the best performing swing bowler in the country by Moores and fellow selectors Geoff Miller, James Whitaker and Ashley Giles - and he did not disgrace himself by taking 2-95 in South Africa's mammoth first-innings total of 522.
Moores said: “You’ve got to take advice on where any bowler is at a given time: is he bowling well, how’s he going, what’s he doing?
“We will do that with all the bowlers out there - that’s what we’ve got Geoff for, that’s what we’ve got James Whitaker for. People are out there telling you what’s happening with a given bowler.
“You can look at their stats, but you can’t always go and see them yourself because you are playing a Test match or whatever and the schedules don’t allow you to do that.
“Darren was the pick because of how he’d been bowling in county cricket. He is a similar bowler to Matthew Hoggard in some ways but that was the choice and it wasn’t a choice taken lightly. It was a long meeting.”
Moores also claimed that Pattinson’s failure to progress through the National Academy set-up should not preclude him from winning international honours, as had been suggested by some observers.
“I can see what people are saying, but it is being taken in isolation because Stuart Broad came through that system,” Moores said.
“Lots of players will come through that system, and are coming through nicely, so we shouldn’t not pick someone who hasn’t come through that system if we think ‘Okay, actually this guy is the best for here’.
“Because he hasn’t been through the system doesn’t mean he should not be picked.”
Back-to-back matches meant both sides went into the second leg of the four-Test series with just three days’ rest, and England reverted to a five-man attack for the first time since the returning Andrew Flintoff last played 18 months previously.
But with a week-long break until the next encounter in Birmingham, and all-rounder Flintoff proving his fitness with 40 overs under his belt in the first innings of the 10-wicket defeat, Moores hinted at reverting to a four-man attack once more.
“It was always going to be a plausible option to go back to four bowlers whatever happened because when we picked the side with four seamers it didn’t mean we would be going with four seamers forever,” Moores added.
“When we get to Edgbaston and look at the pitch we know we’ve got the option to go either way.
“Certainly as well, it will depend on how much we think Monty Panesar will come into the game, and how many overs he will bowl.
“But we have shown you can play three seam bowlers and be successful because we’ve done it for a long time. We need to pick a strong side but also one with enough firepower to win the game.
“They’ve had another big workload in this game but we’ve got a reasonable gap before the next Test.”