Australia v India, VB Series, Sydney January 20, 2004

Lee's place under intense scrutiny

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Brett Lee is consoled after conceding 83 runs against India
© Getty Images

There is no doubting that Brett Lee is fast, but his future as an international one-day bowler is under close scrutiny after his dismal performance against India at The Gabba on Sunday.

Lee conceded 83 runs in ten overs as India scored 4 for 303. It was the most expensive return in any ODI in Australia, eclipsing team-mate Glenn McGrath who went for 76 against Sri Lanka in 1995-96. Lee's figures were the 14th most expensive in one-day cricket - just behind the 1 for 85 he took against Pakistan at Cardiff in 2001.

It has not been a good season for Lee. First he was sidelined by an ankle injury, and when he came back against India at Sydney after Christmas he took 1 for 201 in the first innings, and 4 for 276 in the match.

Dennis Lillee appealed for patience, insisting that Lee would come good and that the inconsistencies he has shown of late would be sorted.

But, Allan Border, one of the selectors, admitted that Lee's position was in doubt after the drubbing he received at Brisbane. "There are two schools of thought: either let him get his confidence back in first-class cricket, or keep him here in the hope he comes good in a flash we have an in-form tearaway leading to the finals," Border said. "We're not panicking, but you have to be true to yourselves. You obviously don't want blokes going for 80 in a one-day game."