Lee likely to storm into tri-series - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lee likely to storm into tri-series

By Will Swanton 12/12/2002 07:07:55 PM Comments (0)

Brett Lee will storm into Friday's opening tri-series match against England under strict instructions to continue the carnage he created in the third Ashes Test in Perth.

Captain Ricky Ponting today rated Lee "a nose in front" of Andy Bichel in their latest man-on-man battle to be Australia's third pace bowler after the SCG curator predicted a fast and bouncy pitch.

Ponting said Lee's effort in taking five wickets in Perth - and spilling the blood of Alex Tudor - would have sent a still-reverberating shiver through the England camp.

"I'm tempted to keep playing him - anyone bowling that sort of pace is going to worry batsmen at certain times," said Ponting.

"He showed that in Perth and he's showed it in most games he's played when he's bowling fast.

"He does intimidate batsmen, there's no doubt about that - he'll be bowling fast again and hopefully he can pick up some wickets for us.

"He's always going to have that ability and knack to be able to knock batsmen over with his raw pace but at the same time there are going to be situations in games where we're going to need him to bowl tight spells for us."

Australia has a fighting-fit squad for the sold-out match but England suffered yet another major blow today when allrounder Andy Flintoff was sent home after failing to recuperate from a double hernia operation.

Ponting said Lee had made significant progress in his quest to improve his economy rate without diminishing his wicket-taking firepower during Australia's most recent limited overs tournaments in August and September.

In Kenya, Lee took eight wickets at an average of 13.5 and economy rate of 3.37. Under tougher conditions and against stronger opposition at the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, he finished with five wickets at 20 and an economy rate of 5.0.

"Hopefully he (Lee) keeps improving his economy rate ... I thought he improved a lot over there, actually," said Ponting.

"Sure the wickets weren't too bad to bowl on in Kenya but just his overall approach, the way he met the challenge head-on was very pleasing.

"He worked very hard on getting the ball in the right area and bowling the ball where he wanted to a lot more often than he probably had done before.

"He probably thought about his bowling a lot more, and he's in good form at the moment as we saw in Perth."

The SCG is likely to offer turn after the opening overs and Australia's part-time spinners Darren Lehmann and Michael Bevan might find themselves bowling short spells in tandem with Shane Warne.

Ponting will receive the International Cricket Council's one-day championship shield before the start of play. It recognises Australia's standing at the top of the ratings since they were introduced in October.

"It certainly is nice to be recognised that way ... probably a lot of the guys wouldn't have realised it was going to happen," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news