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Lee says he is now back to his best

His confidence sky-high after an Indian demolition, pace-king Brett Lee on Monday thumped his chest and announced that he was back to his best.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2004 15:52 IST
Ashish Shukla (PTI)
Ashish Shukla (PTI)

His confidence sky-high after an Indian demolition, pace-king Brett Lee on Monday thumped his chest and announced that he was back to his best at the bowling crease.

"As far as pace and rhythm go, I am back to my best of World Cup days," said Lee who virtually fired bullets at the Indians on a nasty WACA pitch in a tri-series game yesterday to put them on notice for the finals beginning on Friday in Melbourne.

But pace is not Lee's sole goal and he is concentrating o takling wickets primarily.

"Pace is not a goal for me. It is to take wickets for my country. It was good to see the ball carry to Gilly (Gilchrist) at a good pace and a good height. The ball came out of my hand pretty well. But I would try to do the basics and keep my action very simple," he said.

Lee, who took three wickets conceding only 22 runs in his 10 overs, was almost unplayable with his pace and movement.

"I would admit I was helped by the breeze coming across (from the sea) and it helped my outswingers. But basically I was not trying to bowl too fast, I only wanted to relax and bowl line and length," he said.

Lee acknowledged the help of pace guru Dennis Lillee with his action and rhythm and particularly how to get over the malaise of no-balls which has dogged him all summer.

"I have done a lot of work with Dennis (Lillee) over the phone. He just wanted to reinforce the work I was doing during the World Cup. He told me to try out a few things to get my foot on the line. He suggested me different techniques and also that I should let my arm go a little bit higher than it has in recent weeks," Lee said.

The tearaway bowler also revealed that he had worked hard in the nets in the last few weeks after being mauled by Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.

"Action is a weird thing. But I have trained very hard in the nets and over the last couple of weeks things are getting back into track."

Lee felt he was hampered by the slow nature of tracks and was glad that WACA happened and instilled confidence in him.

"We have played on some very slow wickets but finally we got one which backed up fast bowling. For me, more than pace, the length was the key. I had bowled either too short or two full in the Tests.

"We would try to take this momentum in the finals. It has been a great confidence builder. But it could be a different story. It was a great series to be part of and now things can happen in the finals."

Lee also admitted he might have tried to rush things up in his eagerness to return to action.

"When I returned, I was anxious to do well. It does take a bit longer. I am a sort of guy who likes to rush in a bit too quickly. I was expecting things to happen far too quick than it probably could have (happened). Our fitness expert John Campbell said it takes about three months to reach top speed after injury. I think I am now much ahead of the track."

First Published: Feb 02, 2004 15:52 IST