Lee - India loss a blessing
Brett Lee believes Australia's first Test defeat to India could prove a blessing in disguise ahead of the upcoming Ashes series.
Last Updated: 07/10/10 9:44am
Pace bowler Brett Lee believes Australia's agonising first Test defeat to India could prove a blessing in disguise ahead of the upcoming Ashes series against England.
Lee, who retired from Test cricket at the start of the year, watched on as his former team-mates lost a thrilling series-opener by one-wicket in Mohali on Tuesday.
Ricky Ponting looked certain to win his first Test in India as captain, only for VVS Laxman and tail-enders Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha to combine for 92 runs for the final two wickets.
But while Australia's inability to finish off the Indian tail will be seen by some critics as a major problem with the Ashes looming large, Lee is not concerned.
"Sometimes to have a defeat before a big series is probably the best thing for you," the 76-Test veteran said. "It makes guys switch on a lot more.
"If we went over there and won 2-0 pretty convincingly then you could look at it two ways - saying that the guys are on a roll there ready for the Ashes, or that it was a walk in the park and things can become a little bit complacent.
"But I'm sure that Australia will bounce back. We've got a great side and a great squad.
"The Australian summer's going to be huge. With the Poms coming out it's going to be very exciting cricket and I hope it's a bit like the 2005 series but with a different result."
Lee, who has not bowled a ball in competitive cricket since April, is confident he will be available for Australia's Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka in Perth on October 31 followed by three ODIs in early November.
He will make his return from a six-month injury lay-off for Mosman against Bankstown in the Sydney grade competition on Saturday.
"I thought it would be nice to ease back in to a grade game, and I mean that with all due respect," Lee said ahead of his first club appearance in six years.
"But yeah, I'll be trying to play a couple of one-dayers for the Blues over the next couple of weeks and then look to try to play against Sri Lanka towards the end of this month."
"I've been training really hard (doing) fitness in the gym, fitness away from the gym, bowling in the nets. It all sounds good but at the end of the day it's how it feels when you go out there and play competitive cricket."
Lee admits the ICC World Cup, to be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh beginning in February, would be a fitting way to end his career.
But while Lee says he has "vowed never to bowl a red ball again", he refused to rule out playing Twenty20 and one-day cricket beyond this season.
"I'm not going to put a timeline on when I want to stop," he said.
"If it (the end) comes now and I don't bowl a ball ever again for Australia, well, yes I'll be disappointed but to me it's not the end of the world."