'Pattinson-Clarke partnership reminiscent of 'feared' Lillee-Chappell alliance'
Former Test bowler Rodney Hogg believes young quick James Pattinson and Australia captain Michael Clarke's partnership reminds him of the legendary Dennis Lillee and Ian Chappell alliance, which was one of world's most feared strike force in the 1970s and early '80s.
The appraisal came as startling statistics showed Pattinson has outperformed bowling legends Curtley Ambrose, Glenn McGrath, Dennis Lillee, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Courtney Walsh at the same stage of their illustrious Test careers.
The 22-year-old is fast emerging as the paceman that can spearhead Australia's attack for the next decade, with Pattinson having taken 31 wickets in six Tests at a world-class 20.77 since his baggy-green debut last December.
To underscore Pattinson's lethal entry to Test cricket, McGrath - Australia's most prolific quick with 563 victims - managed just 14 scalps from his first six Tests at a costly 40.86.
Lillee had 29 at 19.52, while the likes of Akram (22 at 23.18), Ambrose (18 at 35.06), and Warne (13 at 47.62) lacked Pattinson's impact in the formative stages of their Test careers.
"The Clarke-Pattinson relationship reminds me very much of Dennis Lillee and Ian Chappell. James has a bit of Freddie Trueman (English fast-bowling legend) with his aggression and ability to sledge," News.com.au quoted Hogg, as saying.
"That was Glenn McGrath's greatest weakness, he didn't know how to sledge properly. We're seeing the emergence of a great captain in Clarke and a great fast bowler in Pattinson," he added.
"This kid has every base covered, he's tall, he keeps trying and that's why Michael Clarke was happy to declare in the first Test, because of his faith in Pattinson. If he had a mug's attack, he wouldn't have declared, but he knew that Pattinson could do the job," he said.