Lee fears for quicks on slow pitches - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lee fears for quicks on slow pitches

12/12/2006 05:09:47 PM Comments (0)

Brett Lee believes a generation of aspiring speedsters could be turned off bowling fast if Australian pitches keep losing their identity and become bland, batsman-friendly tracks.

Amid growing concern pitches around the country are losing their distinctive zip, Lee admits he is not expecting a paceman's paradise in Perth, where the third Ashes Test starts on Thursday.

Even England's batsmen found the wickets in Brisbane and Adelaide more subcontinental in nature than Australian, and Lee was resigned to expecting more of the same.

"I'm expecting it to be very slow, as it has been over the past couple of years," he said of the WACA Ground strip.

"If there's enough carry for the quicks then everyone's happy.

"If it gets to the stage where it's a real flat batting wicket then (for) kids watching on TV, no one will want to bowl fast.

"It's important there's enough there for the quicks.

"I'm not a person to whinge, but I just hope that Perth is the wicket we are expecting or has been in the past, but we'll have to see."

Lee's concerns mirror those of his bowling partner Glenn McGrath, a strong supporter of pitches like Brisbane (swing), Perth (pace) and Sydney (spin) all retaining their individualism.

McGrath was unplayable at the WACA two years ago, when he took 8-24 against Pakistan on a quick wicket, but a summer later, Australia was ruing not having two spinners when it could not bowl out South Africa.

Lee was delighted with the way he bowled on the unresponsive Adelaide pitch during the second Test, but feared for the loss of tradition.

"The thing that's disappointing is if different wickets around the country are losing their tradition and their character," he said.

"That would be disappointing if that happened."

Lee was anything but disappointed with his efforts in Adelaide despite finding Les Burdett's wicket slower and drier than he had ever encountered.

Lee used the abrasive surface to make the ball go reverse in England's second innings, and he labelled his 13 overs on the final day, when he helped Shane Warne shut down England's innings, as one of the best performances of his career.

"I couldn't have bowled any better than that, even though I only got two wickets (2-35)," he said.

"I put it down as the best I've bowled in a number of years."

Lee sought the advice of his brother Shane, the former Australian one-day allrounder and his former NSW captain, halfway through the second Test for a "freshen up", and wants to become a bowler who can be relied upon on difficult wickets.

"I was 100 per cent happy with the way I bowled last spell," he said.

"You don't get a five-wicket haul next to your name, but that's the way cricket goes.

"Now the process is right hopefully the wickets will come."

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