Gilly - Stick with Lee
Adam Gilchrist believes Brett Lee will finally find some form against England and help fire the Aussies to the Ashes.
Last Updated: 02/07/09 3:27pm
Former Australia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist believes Brett Lee will finally find some form against England and help fire the Aussies to an Ashes series win this summer.
Despite Lee being the spearhead of the Australian bowling attack in recent years, he has not enjoyed playing in England and in 10 Tests he has just 29 wickets at 45.44.
The 32-year-old is coming back from ankle surgery but now faces a battle for a place in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff next week.
Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle seems certain starters and Lee looks likely to fight it out with Stuart Clark for the final seamers' place in the side.
Despite his poor record in England so far, Gilchrist says that Lee's experience will help him find some wicket-taking form if given the chance.
"Brett's four more years experienced now (from the last Ashes series in England)," Gilchrist said. "He's a 300-Test wicket bowler so that experience has got to count for something.
"If he does get a chance I think you'll see him draw on those experiences and use them in a positive manner.
"He loves touring England, he understands the history and what it means to be a part of it so I'm sure he'll be very keen to do well.
"Brett looks fit, he's looking strong, he's looking hungry, but so too is Stuart Clark. Both bowlers will do a good job."
Gilchrist feels that Nathan Hauritz must play, as the squad's only specialist spinner, and also thinks Marcus North deserves his place despite both men struggling in the warm-ups.
"In my experiences from Test cricket, a team well balanced is one with a full-time spinner in it," he said.
"I would like to see them play a genuine spinner. Hopefully, we can see Marcus North come through as well."
Gilchrist also thinks the return to form of Michael Hussey, who hit a century against the England Lions, could be a key factor in an Australian Ashes win.
"If a player like that is gaining in confidence, others around him will grow in confidence, too," he said.
"Although there's a lot of coverage about the uncertainty in our bowling group, and who's going to play, I think there's a good feel in the team.
"They've carried a lot of confidence from (their Test series win in) South Africa so with that in mind I think they've just got their noses in front.
"It is a bit unpredictable but I'll go with a 2-1 win to Australia."