If you can't get along with Dravid, then you're struggling in life: Lee

Lee also said the young James Pattinson has got the credentials to spearhead Australia's attack.

Melbourne (The Telegraph): Brett Lee, who continues to force batsmen on the back foot, spoke to The Telegraph, at the MCG, around lunch time on Wednesday.Brett Lee said Rahul Dravid is a phenomenal batsman and a great human being.

The following are excerpts:

Having flown in from Sydney on the morning after playing in the KFC Big Bash at the SCG

Yeah... It was good to win last night. It was a close game against the Melbourne Stars.

His thoughts at lunch on Day III of the Boxing Day Test

Australia have taken the lead, and while it's not much, I reckon the team which has gone ahead has the best chance to travel to the SCG 1-0 up... Had Virat Kohli, at least, stayed till the break, India would've harboured hopes of taking the lead... The day should have a huge bearing on this series... We have the makings of a fantastic Test.

Sachin Tendulkar still going strong

Yes, I started my Test career (1999-00) bowling to him and while I'm through with Tests, he's holding centre stage... Look, for me, Sachin has been the best... If any parent wants their son to learn the perfect cover drive or the perfect defensive shot, he should be made to study Sachin... His technique and temperament are awesome.

Thoughts on Rahul Dravid

A phenomenal batsman and a great human being. If you can't get along with Dravid, then you're struggling in life.

James Pattinson being hailed as the next Brett Lee

He's a good lad who keeps improving on his skills... He's got the credentials to spearhead Australia's attack.

Regularly working with Pattinson at nets

We've done that, yes... I've spent a lot of time with him... In fact, we help each other out.

His prediction (in an interview to this Reporter in May), that Pattinson would make his Test debut before 2011 ended, being proved right

I'd said so because of his potential.

Take on young Umesh Yadav

Looks good and has the pace... For a more critical observation, though, I'll have to watch more of him.

Importance of speed

It's important, but isn't everything.

Zaheer Khan's comeback

Am very happy for Zak... He's a top-notch competitor and has bowled well on his return.

Michael Clarke as captain

He's got a great cricket brain... We've always known that... He's played a lot under Ricky Ponting and has learnt some of the skills. This series is a test for him.

The pressure, in the lead-up to this series, on Ponting to go

Obviously, Ricky hasn't consistently got runs in the last 12 months, but he should be allowed to go when he wants to... That call has to be his. If I was the guy in-charge, I'd have Ricky in my team in every match.

His personal goal

To lead the Australia attack in the T20 Internationals and the triangular, in February-March. It would be exciting to bowl with Pattinson and Pat Cummins.

If Test cricket actually is threatened in a big way

No... People do enjoy Test cricket... Over 122,000 fans came to the MCG on the first two days of this Test... That's a huge number.

[On Day III, over 40,000 turned up.]

Having recently broken Brendon McCullum's nose in the Big Bash match between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat

It wasn't a good sight... You don't want to hit somebody.

His approach

It's definitely not to hit batsmen.

The response to My Life, his autobiography

Great. I've already done a dozen book signings across the country... I've done two-hour sittings in Sydney and here, a few days ago.

If he's couriered a copy across to Shah Rukh Khan, principal owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

No... I'll take an autographed copy with me when I go for the IPL! Will present it personally to the Boss.

Thoughts on IPL-V

I'm definitely looking forward to returning to Calcutta and changing into the KKR jersey.

Finally, the latest on his singing

(Laughs) Thoda, thoda... I've been working on a couple of songs and they should be out early next year.

Matches

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