Recent Australian Test debutant and New South Wales batsman Kurtis Patterson says he remains as driven as he was before his Test debut to score more runs and contribute to the Blues making their first Sheffield Shield final since 2013/14.
“I really want to win more games for NSW and I really, really want to play in a Shield final this year,” Patterson said on Tuesday.
“That’s my goal and the team’s goal and I think we’ve got the group that we can do it.”
Currently second on the ladder, the Blues resume their JLT Sheffield Shield campaign this Saturday against Western Australia at Bankstown Oval.
The last time NSW made a Shield final it drew with Western Australia to claim the title after finishing on top of the table.
Patterson returns to the Blues squad after making his Test debut, and maiden century in successive Tests against Sri Lanka, with Australia winning the series 2-0.
The elegant left-hander scored 114 not out in the second match of that series at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
He earned selection in the national team on the back of two unbeaten centuries in a tour match against Sri Lanka in Hobart.
However, after more than two years without a First Class century, it was an unbeaten 107 in the Blues 104-run win over Western Australia at Perth Stadium which proved a pivotal moment.
“That was kind of the monkey off the back for me and I feel like that was probably, to be perfectly honest, one of my most satisfying hundreds of my career along with the Test one,” Patterson said.
“It was quite tough conditions over there in WA. They play well over there, they bowl well … and Jhye (Richardson) bowled the house down in that innings.”
Richardson claimed career best figures of 8-47 in that innings but Patterson defied the paceman and Western Australian attack to score the pivotal century of his season.
The form of the top four batsmen has been key to the success of the Blues in the opening six rounds completed before Christmas.
Openers Nick Larkin and Daniel Hughes, Patterson and Moises Henriques, have all scored more than 400 runs and average over 40 for the season.
Patterson has scored 428 runs at an average of 47.55.
Whilst Patterson said this is a positive for the squad, the Duke ball will be used during the remainder of the Shield season and that is a whole other challenge.
“Probably in previous years, we haven’t been in this situation, where a lot of batters have had consistent runs.
“We need to adapt and play swing bowling better than probably what we had in the first half of the year.
“I think if we’re going to be honest we got on some pretty flat wickets and we know particularly with Brisbane and Hobart they’re going to offer a fair bit to the bowlers (in upcoming rounds).”
2018/19 JLT Sheffield Shield
New South Wales Blues v. Western Australia
Round 7, Bankstown Oval, 23-26 February.
Play starts at 10.30AM