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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Lee's pace on India's mind: Gilchrist

Brian Murgatroyd | March 21, 2003 16:33 IST

Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist believes the pace of Brett Lee will play on the minds of India's batsmen ahead of Sunday's World Cup final.

The fair-haired Lee, with 20 tournament wickets, terrorised the India top-order in the group phase as they lost by nine wickets.

"He rattled the Indians at Centurion Park," Gilchrist told Reuters.

"It was a tactical move by Ricky to give Brett the new ball, as usually we had seen (Glenn) McGrath and (Jason) Gillespie share it, but he decided to take them on with pace straight away.

"Brett came through and so it will be on their minds for sure and they will also remember they had to face him when he first came into international cricket and was bowling with real pace then as well."

India lost that game by nine wickets but are unbeaten since. With a host of top-class batsmen in their line-up, Gilchrist said pace had to be laced with control.

"It is one element playing on the batsmen's minds but it doesn't necessarily equal wickets. You have still got to execute well."

Lee has done that superbly during the tournament and was at his brutal best against Sri Lanka in Tuesday's semi-final.

Then, he captured three for 35, but Gilchrist argued the way Lee took his wickets was also significant.


"If he knocks the stumps right out of the ground against a player like (Marvan) Atapattu (as he did on Tuesday), that can have a devastating effect on the psyche of the opposition."

Lee again touched 160 kph on Tuesday, but Gilchrist was sceptical.

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced about the speed guns because there are days when I take a delivery and think it has to be one of the quickest he has bowled and it only registers at 140kph," he said.

"At other times he bowls a ball that shows up as 158 or 160 and it might not seem as quick, but what I can say is he is consistently bowling balls that I am taking and thinking it is extremely quick."

That consistent pace tells Gilchrist that Lee is returning to the sort of form he showed when he broke into the Australia side in 1999-2000.

"He has bowled with a lot of fire and aggression and he seems to have been doing that a lot more regularly in recent times," he said.

"It is almost like he is back to the way he was when he first came into international cricket. Then, his pace levels were up in the high 140s and low 150s regularly in every spell and now he is doing it again."


Lee's international career began with a wicket in his first over and 42 victims in seven tests. Problems followed, however, with a stress reaction in his back in December 2000, swiftly followed by a broken elbow requiring surgery.

He was back in action less than six months later but, although occasionally showing glimpses of his previous pace and control, the next year proved a struggle.

At the start of the current season Lee was dropped for three tests but returned in December 2002.

Gilchrist put Lee's renaissance down to two factors.

"It's not been a conscious thing to get his pace back but he has done a lot of work to reach the very top fitness level and that has given him the confidence and the ability to bowl fast.

"I am pretty sure that ability fell away with his previous worries over fitness issues and injury worries.

"On top of that, he had to take on a role as leader of the bowling attack when (Glenn) McGrath was injured in the tri-series at home and now (Jason) Gillespie is out of the World Cup.

"I think he has really enjoyed that and taken it as a challenge, and what it has done is bring out the best in him on a consistent basis."

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: Lee's pace vs India's Ace

No way he is going to make any difference. Agianst india , he was spraying all over, it was bad shots of sehwag and ganguly ...

Posted by Neeraj Sharma

Sub: lee's pace will be a key factor.

Lee's pace will definitley be a key factor that will be playing on the mind of the Indian team.He has been a complete bowler who ...

Posted by meera

Sub: Lee's Pace and his incorrect Action (Chucker)

Lee's bowling action is no better than Akthar's. So why does not the Indian media and Indian players talk about it. The Australian Media and ...

Posted by SRK

Sub: Lee's pace

I don't think that only pace can be a factor .Although Lee has got wkts he has also gone for runs. I will still put ...

Posted by Amit

Sub: No way

There is practically no way Lee can disturb Sachin Tendulkar who is undoubtably the world's best batsman . Remember what happened to Caddick when he ...

Posted by Bhuvanesh


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