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'It would be all hostility for buddy Freddie'

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 15:45 IST
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Australia pace ace Brett Lee promises some "friendly fire" when he faces his strictly-off-the-field buddy Andrew Flintoff in the first Test of the Ashes series at Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday.

Criticised for being too friendly with the English players during the last edition of the epic series, Lee insisted that players from the rival sides could gel together while remaining fierce competitors on the pitch.

"Much has been said about friendships in the Ashes series and whether it will nullify Australia's winning edge," Lee wrote in a newspaper column.

"My feeling is there is room for both. I hope that when people see me playing they can't deny I am giving it 100 per cent," he said.

Recalling his "behind the enemy lines" experience with the tourists during Andrew Flintoff's benefit night, Lee mentioned that even the England skipper knew how the equation can change once the duo take to the field.

"(There)I found myself sitting as the sole Australian on a table full of Englishmen, with "Freddie" on one side and Paul Collingwood on the other.

"It was a terrific night but even Freddie noted the weird scene.

"When he got up to make a speech he said: 'It's funny . . . Brett and I have been having a steak and a glass of wine together and talking about family and kids and tomorrow morning he'll be trying to knock my head off," Lee recalled.

The paceman insisted that patience and hostility would be the key words for Thursday's Test.

"Patience and hostility are two key words in my game plan for tomorrow's Test. I have learned from Glenn McGrath the virtue of being patient but I know there are times when I have to be hostile," he elaborated.

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