Now, with Australia’s hopes once again lying with the former captain, Pattinson praised the 30-year old, saying his presence “lifts the group”.
“Look, he’s a fantastic player,” he said at the end of day’s play. “I was talking to the press before about great players and how they always stand up when you need them. And I think he’s done that in this game. Without him, we would be in a bit of trouble.”
“He’s been copping a bit from the crowd, which has amused a lot of people, but to his credit, he just gets on with it. He’s someone who lifts the group when he’s out there,” Pattinson said.
Australia’s hopes of limiting England to a small lead were dented by a 65-run stand for the ninth wicket between Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad. They were eventually bowled out for 374 and Pattinson, who finished with figures of 2/82, seemed satisfied with the overall performance, an ICC report on Sunday said.
“If they got another strong partnership and still four or five down, and if they’d gone in front by 150-160, it would have been pretty hard to come back from. I know I was sitting last night thinking, if we can manage to keep them to an 80-run lead, we’ll be right in the game, considering we bat well,” said Pattinson.
Australia were reduced to 75/3 in the final session, still trailing England by 15 runs.
An unbeaten 49-run stand between Smith and Travis Head then drove the visiting team into the lead, ensuring that they could yet make a game out of this Test. Australia went into stumps at 124/3 and Pattinson backed the duo to play a long innings to take his team to a commanding position.
“We lost a couple of wickets tonight, but we kept the runs ticking. So we have got a little bit of a lead today, and tomorrow the message is for the boys to just try and bat as long as we can and score as many runs as possible,” Pattinson said.
“Obviously, the ball is bit older now, over 25 overs. Hopefully, it will stop doing as much and Smudge is there. Smithey’s batting unbelievably and it looks like he’s taken off from the first innings. Travis as well. I think those players will be trying to bat as long as possible,” he added. (UNI)