England really under pressure now

Tuesday, 14 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Former Australia Test bowler Brett Lee believes all the pressure is on England ahead of the third Ashes clash in Perth.

Australia trail 1-0 in the series after going down by an innings and 71 runs to Andrew Strauss’ men in Adelaide following the drawn opener in Brisbane.

But Lee is backing Ricky Ponting’s side to turn the tide at the WACA when the series resumes on Thursday.

“I think the good thing Australia has got now is that the only way for us is up,” said the fast bowler on his arrival in Wellington for his stint with the Firebirds in the HRV Cup.

“The way that England have been playing, I think the pressure is now on them. I know they are 1-0 up in the series after two games but we hope that the Australian team can go out there and find some form.”

Lee intimidated batsmen around the world with his pace and took 310 wickets in 76 Tests and he admitted it had been hard to watch Australia struggle in the opening two matches.

The Australian bowlers managed to take just five wickets in Adelaide but Lee felt the recalled Mitchell Johnson would have benefited from time in the nets after his poor showing in Brisbane.

“I caught up with Mitch in Adelaide and he was in a great frame of mind. It’s almost like when you know you’re on the verge of being dropped that when you’re actually dropped there’s a sigh of relief almost because you can go away and try and work on your game and work out how you can get back in [the team],” Lee said.

“I’m sure if he gets his opportunity in Perth - and we hope it’s going to be a nice bouncy wicket for the quicks - so fingers crossed he can go there and get a bag of wickets.”

While ruling out a Test comeback of his own, Lee still felt Shane Warne could do a job for Australia, despite Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland ruling out a return for the 41-year-old spin bowling great.

“With someone like Warnie it’s not only his cricketing skills but he’s got that presence when he walks on to the field,” Lee said.

“He sort of writes his own scripts and he’d be just as likely to go out there and get five wickets. Warnie is an excellent figure in Australia. He’s a great role model for the cricketers coming through and I’m sure if he was to go back out there and play cricket he would do very, very well.”