Australia have been harping on the importance of spin ever since they landed here. But in their ranks they have some lethal practitioners of the other variety.
Back after an elbow surgery, Brett Lee leads the pack of fast men. He is in form too, having finished as the highest wicket-taker in the recent ODI series against England. Lee spoke to HT in an exclusive interview on Friday. Excerpts:
Do you feel added pressure, having returned from injury and leading the attack straightaway?
Feeling pretty excited. It was a dream to lead the Australia attack in a World Cup because this tournament means a lot to me. Adversities such as injury are part of being a fast bowler and it has taken a lot of hard work to get back here.
You don't have a great record in India. How do you intend to set that straight?
I have not been at my best in the longer forms of the game in India, but have done well in T20.
I'm here to enjoy my cricket without expecting anything. Nobody expected me to return to the Australia side but here I am.
The determination is still there.
Flat pitches of the sub-continent and the Powerplays. Does a bowler feel helpless at times?
The game is purely about batting. The batsmen just walk in and tee off.
Earlier, one for 40 off 10 overs was good for a bowler. Now, about 55 in 10 overs for a couple of wickets means a bowler has done a pretty good job. As a bowler, you just get along with it.
The advent of T20 has redefined batting. How has it changed of operating style of a bowler?
My game has evolved too. I use the width and depth of the crease, bowl the slower bouncer, vary the pace and at times bowl wide of the stumps.
Yes, new strokes like the scoop have come up but when you try that against 150 kmph, you also run the risk of getting struck between the eyes.
You have shown an interest in playing the guitar. What exactly does it mean to you?
Oh, it's my way out of cricket. The game can be intense at times and the pressure can be nerve-wracking. You can have a bad day on the field too.
Playing the guitar helps me to come to terms with all of that.