Australia are on way up: Lee

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Brett Lee says the defending champions Australia have a pace attack that other World Cup sides will find hard to match and they’re only going to get better.

Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson have taken 17 wickets in Australia’s opening three World Cup matches and are set to strike fear into the hearts of the Kenya and Canada batting line-ups in Group A clashes on Sunday and Wednesday.

“As far as who’s got the best bowling attack, I’d like to think that Australia’s right up there with the very strong pace attacks,” Lee told reporters at a training session in Bangalore on Thursday.

“We are very comfortable and very happy with the way things are going.

“It’s probably good that we’re underdogs coming in, we’re not the favourites and we can thrive on that.

“Also too the way that we’ve played, the momentum has actually swung our way.

“We still haven’t played our best cricket. In all three facets of the game we still need to improve which is encouraging for us.

“It’s a nice slow incline so we’re peaking at the right time I think.”

The former Test quick, who has fought back from elbow surgery to reinvent himself as the pace spearhead in one-day internationals, dominated the home summer with 11 wickets at 24.00 in the series against England.

His returns of 1-34 off eight overs against Zimbabwe, 1-29 off eight against New Zealand and 1-27 off five against Sri Lanka don’t scream total dominance but underline his development from raw paceman to cagey quick.

As part of the three-pronged pace attack, Lee’s role as the “glue” of the attack, as captain Ricky Ponting calls it, has allowed Johnson to fire away first-change and pick up two four-wicket hauls.

When told Ponting had said he’d never seen Lee bowl better, the paceman said: “It’s a lovely compliment and I’m very appreciative of that comment.

“To me it’s about experience,” added Lee, one of only two Australians to take 300 ODI wickets alongside Glenn McGrath.

“When you first come on the scene and you’re playing in your early twenties for Australia, you’re pretty much thrown in the deep end.

“You don’t know what to expect. Over time, you get to realise how things work and how you work as a player.

“I do know my bowling now better than I ever have.

“It doesn’t mean you’re going to go out there and get five wickets every single game.

“But you’re more likely to be a bit more cagey with the bowling now, be a bit smarter.

“Slower-ball bumpers, wide-line yorkers, those types of things.

“I’m still out to bowl fast. If I couldn’t hit that 150 (km/h) mark, I wouldn’t want to be playing cricket.

“I do thrive on speed. I enjoy the pace, I enjoy seeing the stumps fly.

“Here on the subcontinent where the wickets aren’t really conducive to fast bowling, you have to learn to try a few more things.”

A popular recording artist in India, Lee said the nation felt like his second home.

“I’ve really embraced it and I think the people have embraced me as well which I feel very proud about,” he said. (AAP)