McGrath - Bring back Brett
Glenn McGrath says Brett Lee is still the man to lead Australia's bowling attack in Test match cricket.
Last Updated: 10/11/09 10:20am
Glenn McGrath says Brett Lee is still the man to lead Australia's bowling attack in Test match cricket for the next few years.
Lee missed out on the Ashes in England through injury and watched on as Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson all surged ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, Lee came back with a bang in the following one-dayers and then the Champions Trophy - nudging the speed guns to around the 150km/h mark to put himself right back in contention.
With the first Test against the West Indies in Brisbane coming up on November 26, McGrath has backed Lee to spearhead Australia's Test attack.
McGrath is pushing for the veteran's return to the Test side, saying the 33-year-old is the man to lead the Australian pace contingent for years to come.
"I think we saw what Brett adds to the team when he came back after the Ashes - where we weren't that successful - and we won the one-day series 6-1 and then the Champions Trophy," McGrath said today at the launch of January's SCG 'Pink' Test.
"I think he adds a lot to the team, apart from just his bowling. He's got a lot more experience now and I think he enjoys leading the bowlers.
"He's really stepped up to it and I think he's a long way from finishing his career."
McGrath took 563 Test wickets in a stellar career spanning 15 years, and is not surprised Lee (310 Test wickets) has revived a career that appeared to be on the wane.
"I never had any doubts. Brett's an exceptional cricketer, exceptional sportsman, and he's got that desire to be out there and be successful," he said.
"I'd have him in any team that I played in if he's fit."
McGrath's 'recall Lee' campaign has a supporter in the man best placed to judge how well a bowler is performing - Test wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
Haddin, himself on the comeback trail from injury, has been impressed by what he's seen of Lee since the Ashes, and he says the frustration and pain at sitting out all five Ashes Tests has reignited Lee's desire and possibly prolonged his career
"I've been watching a bit of Brett on television and it looks as though he's back to bowling at 150(km/h) and if Brett Lee's bowling 150 consistently there is no better sight in world cricket," Haddin said.
"It's always good to see a guy of his calibre coming in and bowling at that great pace. It makes it uncomfortable for opposition batters and it also makes it great fun for us guys behind the wicket knowing we're going to get some opportunities.
"Not playing in that Ashes series has made him a lot hungrier for this summer.
"Once he got back to 100% we saw the pace he was hitting on the radar, he's definitely a force to be reckoned with and will be for some time to come."