Australia have a ‘great opportunity’ to give India a run for their money, says Brett Lee

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“This is a great opportunity for this young Australian team to play cricket in the heat and dust of India”

Former Australia pace bowler Brett Lee believes the national team have a “great opportunity” to give India a run for their money in their seven-match ODI series, which the baggy greens currently lead 1-0.

However, Lee admitted that the timing of the series was far from “perfect”.

“It is probably not the perfect timing but we always have to look at the positives and that’s what I would prefer to do,” Lee said. “This is a great opportunity for this young Australian team to play cricket in the heat and dust of India, which would set them up for the toughest of conditions.

“India is a place which helps you learn a lot of things, I learnt a lot playing here and hopefully this Australian team would also gain a lot from the experience. We have the Ashes coming up next month and this series will help the Australian team.”

Despite the absence of captain Michael Clarke, who is currently nursing a back injury, Lee reckons the series could bring the team closer.

“I have read a lot about the comments that have been floating around about the timing of this series but to my mind, having a young guy play in front of 100,000 people who think of cricket as religion, that’s huge,” he said. “These seven ODIs would steel them up for all kinds of conditions. You can always have opinions on when it should have been but it is still a huge opportunity.”

The 36-year-old also noted that he was looking forward to representing the Sydney Sixers in this year’s Big Bash League (BBL).

“I am looking forward to the Big Bash in December when I would play for Sydney Sixers,” Lee said. “My goal, when I started playing international cricket was to touch 150kph or go beyond that. I have always tried to do that and will keep doing that.

“I am not interested in bowling at 130kph, and even after retiring and everything, I am still confident of bowling at 150. I worked very hard to reach where I did, luck did not play too big a role. I will continue to do that and carry on till the time I feel I can touch 150 and I am very confident of continuing to do it for a long time to come.”

Lee is also concerned about the increasing number of Australian pace bowlers succumbing to career-threatening injuries.

“You have to trick your body,” he said. “These days fast bowlers don’t even last two years, in fact in some cases, not even two games. I have lasted pretty long. My longevity has a lot to do with the fact that I have worked very hard on my fitness. Age plays a part but then it can go both ways.

“For instance, if somebody is good at 16, like Sachin Tendulkar was, get them into the team, it doesn’t really matter.”

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