Island Cricket

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

LEE WARY OF SRI LANKA CHALLENGE

Pace bowler Brett Lee is expecting Sri Lanka to provide a stern test for Australia's attack in the upcoming two-match series between the two countries, although he insists the Aussies are raring to go.

Despite Australia not having played a Test match in 10 months, Lee believes he and his fellow bowlers will be fit and firing when faced with the expected Sri Lankan batting onslaught in the two-Test series.

"We are ready for it, we're ready for November 8, we're ready for the first Test, get through these first (two) Tests and then we've got India," he said.

"I think they'll be coming full steam ahead definitely ... as far as the five-day cricket goes they'll be going out there from ball-one making sure they're actually going flat out."

The New South Wales bowler also welcomed the added responsibility of leading the bowling attack, saying he did not feel any extra pressure in the absence of retired stalwart Glenn McGrath.

"I've done it (led the attack) for about three years now with the one-day attack, so it's not going to be any different," he said.

"The fact now that we haven't got Glenn and also Shane Warne to rely on when days get tough - and I'm sure there will be some tough days over the next 12 to 18 months."

The 30-year-old may be on the comeback trail after suffering an ankle injury which ruled him out of Australia's triumphant 2007 World Cup campaign.

But, despite toiling without reward during NSW's recent draw with Queensland in the Pura Cup, he feels fit enough to challenge Sri Lanka's celebrated batting line-up and get some wickets.

"The thing that I took out of the game (against Queensland) is that I bowled 52 overs, it was pretty hot out there bowling the last four days (and) a pretty flat wicket," Lee explained.

"I was really pleased with the way I bowled even if I look up at the scoreboard and I don't see any wickets next to my name, I was really proud of the way I bowled out there and really pleased with my form.

"So going into the first Test the confidence is sky-high and I'm looking forward to it."

Lee also has every confidence that the new generation of Australian fast bowlers can fill the void left by the departed McGrath.

"We've got a fantastic squad of players - Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Tait just to name a few.

"So it's going to be interesting what they (Australian selectors) go for in the first Test."

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