The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Lee fear-factor
Brett Lee

If modern cricket is all about cut-throat competition, fast bowlers provide the cutting edge to it. Their sizzling run, awesome speed, their very presence in the run-up, which imposes a fear-factor in the batsman’s mind — all this typifies a rare breed. Meet Brett Lee, who stands out among equals...

- Lee has already taken 20 wickets in the World Cup, equalling Shane Warne’s Australian record. He also has earned the distinction of being the first Australian to have scored a hattrick (against Kenya). These are just the records to make him Australia’s pride and India’s envy.

- Lee may have lost the battle of being the fastest bowler to his Pakistani rival (Akhtar was clocked at 161.3 kmph, just over 100 mph, against England in the World Cup league stage), but the Australian is far ahead in consistency and surviving the pressure of international cricket, by staying fit. Above all, his raw pace has given a new dimension to the Aussie attack.

- Known to his teammates as Bing because of his good-looks, Lee wears a different persona on field though. He’s aggressive, accurate and always goes for the kill, particularly in early overs. Coupled with this, he’s given up beer for the past 12 months to maintain a disciplined life.

- He loves challenges and always tries to play on a batsman’s psyche. He always aims at unsettling his target.

- He bowls a good out-swinger to right-handers, and can also swing the old ball back into right-handers, which gives him the ideal two-pronged attack to dispose of top-order players and the tail.

- Like Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, Lee is able to make the ball climb off a good length and pass the batsman at around throat height. This means he can present himself as a “fear” for the willow-wielders. More importantly, if the batsmen hope to get away from Lee and prefer to stay at the other end, they will find themselves facing the accurate Glenn McGrath.

- Lee is a smiling assassin, who enjoys the job of taking wickets, rather than purely taking pleasure from the batsman’s discomfort.

- Very few people know that Brett Lee was once identified by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a potential future baseball star with the chance to earn megabucks in the United States.

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