The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 5 , 2014
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‘India need dominating pacers’

Mumbai: Wishing for a match up between his home country Australia and India in the final of the 2015 World Cup, Brett Lee feels the reigning champions’ biggest task ahead of the mega event would be to find pacers capable of bowling at 140kph.

“An Australia-India final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) would be fantastic and incredible. There will be a full house. India have very good batsmen and great spinners.

“But they need to find bowlers who can bowl at 140kph. India really need to show they have dominating fast bowlers as the wickets will be fast and bouncy. For them to put their best foot forward, they have to find fast bowlers,” the former Aussie pacer said, here, on Tuesday.

Lee highlighted the recent successes of compatriot Mitchell Johnson and South Africa spearhead Dale Steyn. “Steyn and Mitch are the two best fast bowlers in the world now. No one likes to face fast bowling.”

He gave a lot of credit to Johnson for the turnaround in Australia’s fortunes after they suffered a humiliating defeat in the Ashes in England last year, which followed a 0-4 drubbing against India during early 2013.

“It’s simple. Australia will be hosting the World Cup (in 2015) and we should be ready for that. Johnson has been outstanding and led the turnaround with his moustache. He has been fast and aggressive and has changed the face of Australian cricket,” Lee said.

“Added to that is (’keeper-batsman) Brad Haddin and coach Darren Lehmann who make the players more comfortable. Australia have been a lot more confident. They have played some great cricket and look a fantastic side,” added Lee.

The speedster praised the IPL for the revival of Johnson’s fortunes. “He played for Mumbai Indians in IPL, which provided him the opportunity (last season) to bowl fast under pressure. He impressed everyone in Australia by bowling fast again and developing his game.”

Moving on to South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith, who announced his retirement from the game on Monday, Lee termed the southpaw a “fantastic cricketer” who was destined to lead the side at a very young age after South Africa’s disastrous 2003 World Cup campaign.

Meanwhile, Lee rated Sachin Tendulkar a notch above Brian Lara, thus singing a different tune to that of Jacques Kallis. Asked to compare the two legends, Lee said: “I have to say Sachin because he had that aura when he came out to bat.”