October 24, 2008

Brett be good, Brett be fast

Jamie Alter

While Doug Bollinger was being mistaken for Brett Lee at the Taj Mahal, the real McCoy was bowling in solitude at the Feroz Shah Kotla. With just four wickets in two matches at an average of 59.25, and an on-field dispute with Ricky Ponting in Mohali, Lee's maiden Test tour of India hasn't gone too well. Having been told by Ponting to up his pace, Lee went to the venue for the third Test and bowled for a couple hours. No chatting, no smiling for the cameras, no mistaken identities.

Assisting Lee was Australia's fitness adviser, Stuart Karppinen, who has come up with a programme comprising 11 varied sessions. "Because of his personal circumstances, he hasn't done the same volume of work and we want to try to build that up," said Karppinen. "He's at 95 per cent and bowling in the mid-140s (kph) but we want him to be able to crank that up. He's lost speed and condition. We want to mimic the movements that happen when he bowls. We're trying to promote speed."

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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