Former Test fast bowler James Pattinson looms as Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League X-factor - as an allrounder.
Heat coach Dan Vettori says prized recruit Pattinson will be their strike bowler but tipped the speedster to also win games with the bat after emerging as a different player from a long injury lay-off.
Pattinson, 28, only returned for his first game of first-class cricket in 15 months when he ran out for Victoria last month after an ongoing battle with back stress fractures.
Vettori said Pattinson had used that time out of the game to dramatically improve his batting and was close to becoming a "world-class allrounder".
"The reason we got him is we think he can be a game changer. He has really started to mature as an allrounder," Vettori said.
"I think when cricketers have so many injuries they look to develop other aspects and Patto was always a batsman but he has really come on with that.
"Let's hope his bowling stays the way it was because that is a pretty special package but when you add the batting he can be one of those world class allrounders."
Pattinson is fit again, overcoming his latest lower back stress fractures after undergoing surgery in November 2017.
Pattinson last played for Australia in the trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand in February 2016 but has already earmarked a bold international return in the 2019 Ashes.
Pattinson was promoted to No.7 by Victoria upon his return but has turned heads mostly with the ball, capturing nine Shield wickets at 31.55 to date this summer.
Still, Pattinson boasts a handy first class average of 25.14 overall and 32.56 in his last 19 innings.
"We have been crossing our fingers he got through that (Shield duty for Victoria), and speaking to him he is getting more confident about his body," Vettori said.
Vettori confirmed Australian T20 batsman Chris Lynn would take over the Heat captaincy from long-term Kiwi teammate Brendon McCullum ahead of next Wednesday's BBL opener against Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba.
Vettori was hoping history would repeat with Lynn at the Heat helm.
The last time Lynn was captain in the 2015-16 BBL he won player of the tournament.
"When you look at the last time he was captain ...he took over games and won matches for us - we hope that continues," Vettori said.
Vettori said ex-Test squad bowler Brendan Doggett (quad) would be available for the Heat's practice match on Wednesday on the Gold Coast before their BBL opener against the Strikers.
Australian Associated Press