Cricket Australia has decided to use its fast bowlers sparingly after drawing flak for persisting with young pacer James Pattinson during the Test series against India last year despite warnings of an imminent breakdown from sports scientists.
Pattinson was laid low for a couple of months due to a foot injury that resulted from the heavy workload he shouldered. CA was warned by sports scientists that he would break down during the second Test against India last year if not preserved but the body did not pay heed.
"We were told by the sports scientists that James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test match. We then got all that information and (captain) Michael Clarke and myself and the selector on duty, we thought that the impact he'd made in Melbourne, it was worth taking that risk," Australia coach Mickey Arthur told The Age.
"Even though he broke down, he got four wickets in the first innings, he got Gautam Gambhir in the first over of that Test match, arguably he put us on the road to win that Test.
That was a risk that we thought was worthwhile," he said.
"The sports scientists tell me that our guys under the age of 25 can bowl 52 to 55 days in a year. Whereas guys like Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson, over the age of the 25, they can probably give you 75 (days) at high intensity."
Adopting a once bitten twice shy approach, CA has decided to be more careful in its handling of 19-year-old pace sensation Pat Cummins.
"We'd like to play him in everything, but it's not possible. Much like we did with Mitchell Starc last year, he travelled with us to most venues, ended up getting three Test matches I think in the year, five or six ODIs but he was with us all the time and we are really seeing the benefits of that now," Arthur said.