Clarke - Lee back to his best
Michael Clarke has warned England that Brett Lee is looking 'as good as I've seen him' ahead of the NatWest Series.
Last Updated: 04/09/09 7:24am
Australia's stand-in captain Michael Clarke is looking forward to unleashing fit-again paceman Brett Lee during the NatWest Series.
Lee took no part in the tourists' 2-1 Ashes defeat after injuring his side on the eve of the first Test in Cardiff.
He worked his way back to full fitness ahead of the deciding Test but was overlooked as Australia crashed to defeat to surrender the urn.
However, Lee will lead Australia's attack in the seven-match one-day international series against England, starting at the Oval on Friday, and is eager to make up for his Test disappointment.
"He looked sharp in the Twenty20s and he has been pretty sharp in the nets as well," said Clarke, who is captaining Australia in the first three matches of the NatWest Series as regular skipper Ricky Ponting is having a rest.
"He's as good as I've seen him. He's training as hard as I have seen him train and he certainly has the hunger so I'm certain he will have a really good one-day series."
Clarke concedes Australia are still reeling from the Ashes defeat but also believes the one-dayers provide the perfect chance to build some momentum ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy, which begins in South Africa on September 22.
"This is a huge series for us. We really want to do well," he added.
"We didn't win the Test series. We have seven ODIs here so we have to try and win this series to take some positives from this English tour and build that momentum and success leading up to a big ODI tournament in the ICC Champions Trophy.
"What I have been trying to express to the team is that every game is very important.
"We want to perform and win every game we play. That's how you build momentum.
"How you experience team bonding and team success is by getting wins under your belt and we have a great opportunity to do that here."