James Pattinson ready to send one down for the Melbourne Renegades.
James Pattinson ready to send one down for the Melbourne Renegades. Darrian Traynor

Hamstring strain delays Pattinson's comeback

CRICKET: The Melbourne Renegades have been forced to hold off on unleashing strike bowler James Pattinson for just a little while longer.

The 26-year-old was due to lead the Renegades' attack in their Big Bash League opener against the Sydney Thunder tonight but has suffered a "mild” hamstring strain.

The right-armer played the last of his 17 Tests in New Zealand in February, claiming six wickets, before developing a bone stress injury in his left shin.

He then suffered a relapse of stress fractures in his back in May.

"James has worked extremely hard over a long period of time to get his body right so we're treating this as a minor hold-up in his return to playing at the elite level with us,” Renegades coach Andrew McDonald said.

"We'll continue to monitor his improvement over the festive season and see how things are placed.

"We'd love to have him out there but we want to take the right approach with James and have him ready and firing.”

Aaron Finch will captain the Renegades, who also include Dwayne Bravo, Cameron White and new signings Sunil Narine, Marcus Harris and Brad Hogg, who will make their debuts in red.

The Thunder's title defence got off to a horror start on Tuesday when suffering a nine-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers.

But there were some encouraging signs, with Ryan Gibson (53) impressive with the bat.

"It's a quick turn around ... (but) I think we can get a win, we've definitely got it in us,” wicketkeeper Jake Doran said.