Lee - Young blood can shine
Brett Lee believes Australia's upcoming tour of India provides the perfect platform for the younger players to prove themselves.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 23/09/08 11:41am
Brett Lee believes Australia's upcoming tour of India provides the perfect platform for the younger players to prove themselves on the international stage.
The Aussies return to the sub-continent for the four-Test series with only skipper Ricky Ponting and batsmen Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich having previous Test experience in India.
But Lee, who missed the previous tour of India in 2004 due to injury, believes the series gives the world champions' younger players the perfect chance to show what they can do.
"Yeah, we've lost the likes of Glenn (McGrath), Shane Warne, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist, but it's a new era for Australian cricket," Lee said.
"The younger guys have to start somewhere and what better stage than to play here in India?
"It's a wonderful place to tour - the country, the people, the culture, the cricket's pretty hard work, so we have to make sure our plans are in place."
Australia arrived in India a week ahead of schedule following the postponement of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
Lee is once again expected to spearhead the tourists pace attack, and the 31-year-old believes team spirit will be key to Australia's chances of emulating their 2-1 success achieved on the previous tour of India.
"The reason why over the past couple of decades the team has done pretty well is the fact everyone gets along on and off the field and gels as a group - (and there is) no difference here to 2004," he said.
Lee said he expected an incident-free series, unlike the last time the two teams met in Australia earlier this year, when India threatened to abandon the tour over umpiring and on-field problems between the two sets of players.
"The controversy is behind us," he said. "That's happened, we've dealt with that pretty well.
"It's a new leaf. We're turning over a new page in our book, and that is coming over here to play tough, fair, hard, aggressive cricket."
The first Test starts between the sides is in Bangalore on October 9, followed by back-to-back matches in Mohali, New Delhi and Nagpur.