Australia's James Pattinson
Australia's James Pattinson. Image Credit: Reuters

Melbourne: Australia head coach Justin Langer dropped a major hint that pacer James Pattinson will get the nod ahead of Michael Neser and Peter Siddle for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.

“I am really looking forward to seeing Patto bowl and bowl well in this Boxing Day Test, which is his home ground as well,” Langer said.

“James Pattinson was 12th man in the last game and I hope what I have shown in the last 18 months is that we have been really consistent in our selection. He’s been unlucky, he only played a couple of Tests in the Ashes and he is so hungry like Mitchell Starc. The way he has come back from playing (two) Tests in the Ashes has just been brilliant.”

Australia won the first Test by 296 runs in Perth.

The hosts will look to wrap up the three-match series that begins on December 26, but Langer is not underestimating his opponents and expects them to put up a good fight.

“I thought we would have the best of the conditions in Perth because the bouncier wickets are quite foreign to the New Zealanders,” he said. “They will come more into their own at the MCG and SCG I think.

“While we played great cricket in the first Test, we know we are going to have to be really on top of it to beat the second-best team in the world. If we can do that, then we are certainly moving in the right direction.”