Fast bowler wants improved display November 29, 2006

Lee ready to get a grip on England

Cricinfo staff



Kevin Pietersen becomes Brett Lee's second victim at the Gabba © Getty Images

Brett Lee is confident he will not suffer the same problems with his delivery stride in Adelaide as he looks to improve on a disappointing first Test. Lee, who has led the attack for most of the year, delivered a below-par performance in comparison with Stuart Clark and Glenn McGrath, who picked up seven wickets each at the Gabba.

"I just didn't feel comfortable at the crease," Lee said in The Courier-Mail. "On that surface I found it hard to get some grip. That was purely the fact it was such a hard wicket, it was a crumbly surface.

"I was happy with the way the ball came out but it is frustrating at times the way you lose 10 to 15kph in pace because I can't get over my front foot. I was happy with the two key wickets I got and I got a couple of balls around 155.8kph. I just didn't feel as if I had the total 100% confidence at the crease."

Lee picked up Andrew Flintoff for zero in the first innings and removed Kevin Pietersen in the first over of the final day to end England's remote chances of holding on for a draw. "I thought I bowled really well," Lee told the paper. "Unfortunately sometimes catches don't come to hand. I think I had 40 to 50 runs go through slips or over point. Sometimes you don't get the returns for the hard work you have put in. I'm hoping for a big bag in Adelaide."

Troy Cooley, the bowling coach, thought Lee did a "fantastic" job. "I don't think he's very far off the mark," he said. "He's had a few things going on in his life, and I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out and has a great Test match in Adelaide." Lee became a father for the first time in the lead-up to the opening Test.

Australia are expected to use the same pace line-up in Adelaide and only an injury will give an opening to Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait, who were named in the 13-man squad on Tuesday.