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Pattinson in fight to regain Test spot

By AAP .
21 January 2014 05:19AM EST

JAMES Pattinson knows he has a fight on his hands to force his way back into the Australia Test team after their stellar Ashes performances this summer.

After breaking down at Lord's with a back injury last July, Pattinson has been recalled to the Australian Test squad for the three-Test tour of South Africa starting next month.

Not long ago the first paceman selected for Australia, Pattinson will now have to battle it out with Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson for a spot in the Australia XI.

"The boys have done a fantastic job, Mitch (Johnson), Rhino (Harris) and Sids (Siddle), it's fantastic now just to be back in the mix and getting to work with guys like that," Pattinson said.

"I probably won't play that first Test if they're all up and running, it's almost a certainty.

"But I'll be giving my best shot and I'll be hopefully pushing those guys an extra little bit further knowing that me and Jackson (Bird) will be there and bowling our best in the nets to impress."

Pattinson said it was fantastic to have such a quality bowling line-up.

"They're going to be a pretty hard act to follow and looking to the South African bowling line-up too, that's pretty good as well.

"It's going to be a fantastic series, a lot of talk about it and having won that series 3-0 in the one-dayers we can look forward to South Africa now."

Bowling coach Craig McDermott rated the Australian attack the best in the world and they will have the chance to prove it against the Proteas pace battery of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.

Pattinson played his first One Day International since September 2012 in Australia's emphatic seven-wicket win over England at the SCG on Sunday that gave them an unassailable three-nil lead in the best-of-five series.

Pattinson's action didn't look that different and he was noticeably short of a gallop as he went for 0-41 from six overs, and the 23-year-old who has 47 wickets at 26 in 12 Tests said he had made only minor changes.

"Over the five months I've been injured I worked on a few new techniques on how to get my body up and feeling good and how to keep on top of that," he said

"Doing different things at training and how to train a bit smarter."

He said he hoped his accuracy and consistency would improve as he kept bowling more.

"But it's a start and it's great to be back playing, great to be back in the squad which is something I've been working towards over the last five months."

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