New Delhi: Critics may say that the current Australian team is a pale shadow of the teams that have dominated world cricket over the last two decades, but Brett Lee believes that India shouldn’t take them lightly in the upcoming limited-overs series.
Speaking to Headlines Today, Lee said that even though the team is currently going through a transition phase, they do have it in them to rise to the occasion and play competitive cricket.
“Many may say this is a weak Australian side, but I really don’t think so. They play their game hard, keep coming back at the opponents & continuously pose questions and that is Australian cricket. I think it will be a fantastic series for its quality, competition and entertainment value,” he said.
Lee feels that while it would be difficult to predict the outcome of a series, it would be a beautiful contest between India’s quality batsmen and Australia’s bowlers.
“Although it’s really very difficult to predict the outcome of the series, it will be a close affair. India has a very talented batting order — always an advantage in ODI cricket — but Australia’s bowling is getting better. It will be a battle between India’s batsmen & Australia’s bowlers.”
While the Indian selectors have backed youngsters in recent times, they recalled Yuvraj Singh for the series against Australia and Lee feels that the hard work that Yuvraj has put in is exemplary.
“Yuvraj is a wonderful player — very talented and a true match-winner. Coming back from cancer & playing at this level requires enormous commitment and strength,” he said.
Lee was also lavish in his praises for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Lee feels that Dhoni is definitely one of the best in the business. “Dhoni has achieved everything in life & cricket hasn’t he? Riding on a dream and a great team, he is a great leader,” he said.
Australian players have always had high regards for Sachin Tendulkar and Lee is no different.
And he took the opportunity to wish the legend all the luck for his 200th Test match — set to be played against the West Indies soon after the ODI series.
“He is a true legend and definitely one of the best of our generation. The more he plays, the better for the game,” the 36-year-old said.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell had lambasted Cricket Australia for accepting the invitation for the series, which starts with a T20I on Thursday in Rajkot. Not only that, he even refused to do commentary as he had to agree to certain clauses that included not speaking about the DRS and selection policies.
But Lee said the series would help the Australian team.
“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 1,00,000 people who think of cricket as religion, that’s huge. 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,” he said.
The former pacer, who still plays T20 cricket, said that a puppy at home has helped his fitness.
“When you have a six month old puppy running around all over your house, it keeps you on your toes. He is fast like Usain Bolt. So it’s hard work but I am enjoying it,” he signed off.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.