Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Melbourne March 1, 2012

Lee keen to play despite broken foot

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Brett Lee has revealed his right foot is still broken and the injury has caused him significant pain throughout the tri-series. However, Lee hopes he won't be the bowler asked to sit out of the match against Sri Lanka at the MCG to accommodate James Pattinson, who is set to make his comeback from a foot injury of his own.

The Australians have a couple of selection decisions to make ahead of the match, which is the last game before the best-of-three finals, for which they have already qualified. Michael Clarke could miss a second successive match due to injury after the national selection manager John Inverarity said a no-risk approach would be taken to the captain's fitness.

And the selectors will also be keen for Pattinson to play before the finals, having not turned out for Australia since the Sydney Test victory over India nearly two months ago. Ben Hilfenhaus and Clint McKay have been in fine form during the series but someone will need to rest if Pattinson is to play, and Lee said he was keen to stay on the field despite his injury.

"It's still broken," Lee said of his foot. "I had an x-ray yesterday but the show must go on. You've got to do these things when you're playing for your country. It's been very painful but I've come back a lot earlier than I probably could have or should have. But you have to do that when you're playing for your country.

"I haven't thought about [not playing on Friday]. Hopefully I've been doing my job and playing some decent cricket. I'm not a selector and I'll never be a selector. I'm just focused on what I'm trying to do, lead the attack. We have got a great squad of players and some serious depth so we'll wait and see what happens tomorrow night."

Lee suffered the injury while stopping a ball with his foot during Australia's Twenty20 against India at the MCG in February and he was originally expected to miss the whole tri-series. But his earlier-than-expected comeback has ensured plenty of depth for Australia's one-day attack, with Ryan Harris now unable to find a place in the squad due to Pattinson's return.

"We've gone through periods when we've been lacking fast bowlers and we've also gone through periods where we've had no fast bowlers around," Lee said. "But now we've got seven or eight guys putting their hand up to play Test cricket and T20 and one-day cricket for Australia. It keeps the options open and keeps the older guys and the younger guys coming through knowing that complacency should never play a part."

Pattinson, 21, has played only two one-day internationals and is looking forward to his first short-format match for Australia at home. By including him in the final stages of this series and in the ODI and T20 squads to tour the West Indies in mid-March, the selectors have limited Pattinson's chances of playing in the longer format ahead of the Caribbean Test series, but he does not believe that will be a problem.

"I've missed two Test matches but I still feel back bowling in the nets now like I haven't really been out of cricket a long time," Pattinson said. "I haven't had to get back into my rhythm and worry about all that sort of stuff, it's come pretty naturally for me. I'm just looking forward now to having a go in the shorter format of the game and then hopefully whatever comes with the longer format. At the moment we're just concentrating on the one-dayers."

And while Pattinson, Lee, Hilfenhaus and McKay is a strong pace line-up, there is little room for error against a Sri Lankan batting order that has made 320 and 283 in the past two matches. Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene said his batsmen always enjoyed using the speed of the quicker bowlers against them, contrary to the stereotype that teams from the subcontinent prefer facing spin.

"Everyone says that we don't play quicks that well but I think out of all the countries we manage the best," Jayawardene said. "Our guys bat much better when they've got pace and bounce - we did that in England, we did that in South Africa, and here we've been very consistent."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    AUSTRALIA ALREADY STARTED TO BOOK FLIGHTS FOR INDIANS TO MUMBAI SHOWING HOW SILLY YOU CAN BAT.WARNER IS ALREADY GONE

  • POSTED BY SLDude on | March 2, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    @The_Freakste: I am just wondering if you can remember that Australian Team all out for 47 in second innings in the First Test march in SA 2 months ago. more importantly highest runs scored by Nathan Lyon ( 14), the 11th man. No one in the top order is scored double figures. That doesn't mean that Australian Team can't bat on Pace Wickets. And don't forget Sri Lankan team did follow over 300+ scored in Last two ODIs in SA.

  • POSTED BY SLDude on | March 2, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    @Mohaseen Khan: I am sri lankan, but i do agree with you for some level. Our batmens and bowlers do not have good records against pace and bounce except sanga and may be aravinda. But we got some new bloods in our team like dinesh chandimal and mathews who looks good in pace and bounce wickets. We are crossing our fingers against match today.

  • POSTED BY Mad_Hamish on | March 2, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    as to why you'd play Lee in his last 10 ODIs he has 14 wickets @ 28.42 and 4.61 rpo in his last 20 31 wickets @ 25.41 and 4.79 rpo He's certainly still worth playing currently and it's not like there's a big cluster of old bowlers in the attack so there's not really a worry about getting multiple people leaving at the same time so no reason to force him out. As to him playing with a broken foot my understanding is that it's a fracture in the little toe so not a really big issue provided that he can deal with the pain it's causing. Pattinson & Watson are different cases because it their cases playing would be or would have been extremely likely to do more damage.

  • POSTED BY Niks4cricket on | March 2, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    I think its time for AUS selectors to make a right call. Lee needs to be rested before best of 3 finals !

  • POSTED BY gung-ho on | March 2, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Lee can bowl, complete his follow through, run towards point and plant himself in front of running batsmen with his broken foot, doh!

  • POSTED BY dnmrao on | March 2, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Mr. Lee don't be unwise by looking for short term goals. If your foot is fully healed you will be able to play longer for Australia than continuing playing with broken one. Another blow on the same spot you will not be able to go to West Indies.

  • POSTED BY Azza_Indian on | March 2, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    @Priyan Fernando.. LOL.. look at your top batsmen's performances : Sangakkara..top 3.. 230 @ lahore,232 @colombo 157@kandy jayawardhane ... 167@ Galle, 120@Adelaide, 242@colombo..

    now compare this to india... rahul dravid.. 270@rawalpindi..233@adelaide,,222@ahmedabad,217@the oval srt... 248 @ dhaka 241@sydney 217@ahmedabad

    you can compare and see the stats..it proves who are flat track bullies...

  • POSTED BY GMathews on | March 1, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    hope lee , pattinson , watson & wade will perform well today,if australia loses today it could be hard for them to win the finals,so that aussie wouldn't take lightly,they have to be serious.. its gon to be 3 consecutive loss to sri lanka in the series if they lose it. lankans confidence level will be high in the finals.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    @Brett Lee: Yeah, you play for your country and win matches not with your bowling skills but with your blocking skills. You can still contribute in taking wickets by standing in the way of the batsmen stretching your legs and bending your back... Way to gooo...Ofcourse the australian team needs you even if your foot is broken because they need some one with your blocking skills and throwing beamers at batsmen like the ones you bowled in CB Series finals.

  • POSTED BY on | March 2, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    AUSTRALIA ALREADY STARTED TO BOOK FLIGHTS FOR INDIANS TO MUMBAI SHOWING HOW SILLY YOU CAN BAT.WARNER IS ALREADY GONE

  • POSTED BY SLDude on | March 2, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    @The_Freakste: I am just wondering if you can remember that Australian Team all out for 47 in second innings in the First Test march in SA 2 months ago. more importantly highest runs scored by Nathan Lyon ( 14), the 11th man. No one in the top order is scored double figures. That doesn't mean that Australian Team can't bat on Pace Wickets. And don't forget Sri Lankan team did follow over 300+ scored in Last two ODIs in SA.

  • POSTED BY SLDude on | March 2, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    @Mohaseen Khan: I am sri lankan, but i do agree with you for some level. Our batmens and bowlers do not have good records against pace and bounce except sanga and may be aravinda. But we got some new bloods in our team like dinesh chandimal and mathews who looks good in pace and bounce wickets. We are crossing our fingers against match today.

  • POSTED BY Mad_Hamish on | March 2, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    as to why you'd play Lee in his last 10 ODIs he has 14 wickets @ 28.42 and 4.61 rpo in his last 20 31 wickets @ 25.41 and 4.79 rpo He's certainly still worth playing currently and it's not like there's a big cluster of old bowlers in the attack so there's not really a worry about getting multiple people leaving at the same time so no reason to force him out. As to him playing with a broken foot my understanding is that it's a fracture in the little toe so not a really big issue provided that he can deal with the pain it's causing. Pattinson & Watson are different cases because it their cases playing would be or would have been extremely likely to do more damage.

  • POSTED BY Niks4cricket on | March 2, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    I think its time for AUS selectors to make a right call. Lee needs to be rested before best of 3 finals !

  • POSTED BY gung-ho on | March 2, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Lee can bowl, complete his follow through, run towards point and plant himself in front of running batsmen with his broken foot, doh!

  • POSTED BY dnmrao on | March 2, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    Mr. Lee don't be unwise by looking for short term goals. If your foot is fully healed you will be able to play longer for Australia than continuing playing with broken one. Another blow on the same spot you will not be able to go to West Indies.

  • POSTED BY Azza_Indian on | March 2, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    @Priyan Fernando.. LOL.. look at your top batsmen's performances : Sangakkara..top 3.. 230 @ lahore,232 @colombo 157@kandy jayawardhane ... 167@ Galle, 120@Adelaide, 242@colombo..

    now compare this to india... rahul dravid.. 270@rawalpindi..233@adelaide,,222@ahmedabad,217@the oval srt... 248 @ dhaka 241@sydney 217@ahmedabad

    you can compare and see the stats..it proves who are flat track bullies...

  • POSTED BY GMathews on | March 1, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    hope lee , pattinson , watson & wade will perform well today,if australia loses today it could be hard for them to win the finals,so that aussie wouldn't take lightly,they have to be serious.. its gon to be 3 consecutive loss to sri lanka in the series if they lose it. lankans confidence level will be high in the finals.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    @Brett Lee: Yeah, you play for your country and win matches not with your bowling skills but with your blocking skills. You can still contribute in taking wickets by standing in the way of the batsmen stretching your legs and bending your back... Way to gooo...Ofcourse the australian team needs you even if your foot is broken because they need some one with your blocking skills and throwing beamers at batsmen like the ones you bowled in CB Series finals.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 1, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    @johntycodes - Check Lee's S/R - it's still world class matey, + he is better in the field than almost every fast bowler in the world (even at 34)!

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | March 1, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Lee's 35 now and clearly isn't the future of Australian cricket. I'm sure he still wants to play, but Aus would be better off selecting fit players who need the experience.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | March 1, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    England, led by Tremlett, shot Sri Lanka out in under 25 overs to win a test match in England. SL struggled in both the other tests, but were saved by the weather, and also lost the ODI series. Either Jayawardene is trying to keep his side's spirits up or he's been smoking something he shouldn't.

  • POSTED BY DaveFish on | March 1, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Lee can even take wickets with a broken foot.....pure class

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    Jayawardene may have been bluffing a bit when he said Sri Lankans play pace better than most other subcontinental teams. However, despite the 43 all out debacle, they responded well at the end of the South Africa series to post 275+ scores in consecutive games, and have obviously batted well in the CB Series.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    this shows the character of this guy! this shows his mental toughness! hats off to brett lee! truly he will go down in the books as one of the all time best fast bowler to have played the game.. All young and aspiring fast bowlers should learn from him that even at this age..he is ready to push the pain barrier and play for his country..a true legend!

  • POSTED BY keecha on | March 1, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Lolz. how courageous??why don't Lee sit out and be fit and ready for the finals so that he can be paid in principal and interest and beyond by Sachin?

  • POSTED BY DD_f0rever on | March 1, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Come ON, Lee. Its going to be a good warm-up game for you before the finals. I want you to bowl as fearlessly as never before. :)

  • POSTED BY Narbavi on | March 1, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    @ Priyan Fernando oh come on mate the matches in england which you played were washed out, specially the second and third test, that's why u lost just 1-0 and against southafrica you lost but we drew the series 1-1, the third test we would have won if not for one man named kallis, and u got shot out for 82 in england and for 43 in southafrica wat do u say for that?

  • POSTED BY kitten on | March 1, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    As much as I like Lee, I agree with Johntycodes who wrote,'You have to question the aussie medical staff as well. Are they really monitoring the players, I don't think so because they go on about how Pattinson is coming along nicely and Watson is over his calf injury yet they cleared Lee to play again and he still has a broken foot. What's going on there?'. How can he be allowed to play with a broken foot. It looks like there is some favouritism being meted out to some players. It not the ideal thing to do. What if Lee`s foot gets worse after an over or two....the pressure will fall on the other bowlers, and SL will capitalise. And can one imagine what is going through India`s mind right now. They must be mortified. All adds to the excitement though. Looking forward to a great game.

  • POSTED BY MVRMurty on | March 1, 2012, 15:29 GMT

    Lee is a great bowler and a valued sports person for Aussies; but for world cricket he is a spiritless sportsman. He tried to bowl beemers to SRT and get him out by hook-or-crook. Pal you have to improve; you dont have the talent of Glenn McGrath or Fleming to get SRT out. Play cricket on the cricket field instead of other games to get your targets out of your way. I do not understand how Sydney Herald accuses Indian Cricketers for their appealing. Can a fielder throw a ball at a speed of his wish to attack a runner like David Hussey so that it would badly injured him? This was unacceptable. Play like Mike(your brother) to get a berth in Aussie team rather than saving your place by playing cheap tricks. Sydney Herald is un-acceptable with these comments.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    dude broken foot, why do you want to play with a broken foot,,

  • POSTED BY Lallubhai on | March 1, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    What do you mean by 'But you have to do that when youre playing for your country '? Blocker Lee .

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | March 1, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Bret Lee takes wickets even when he is in the dressing room .

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    lee is world class bowler

  • POSTED BY The_Freakster on | March 1, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Didn't this SL team get bowled out for 43 on a belter of a track in SA last month? Best players of quick bowling indeed! Just look at the records of Jayawardena, Sangakkara and Samaraweera outside the sub-continent, I think they average under 30 (not counting their favoured opponents Zimbabwe)!

  • POSTED BY johntycodes on | March 1, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Until lee can mix his pace up a bit which he never does he shouldn't get picked. Why would the aussies want to pick a guy that has no variation and is always good for about 6 extras every match as well and can't bat anymore either. You have to question the aussie medical staff as well. Are they really monitoring the players, I don't think so because they go on about how pattinson is coming along nicely and watson is over his calf injury yet they cleared lee to play again and he still has a broken foot. What's going on there?

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    @ Jatin Sapra - read carefully mate ... Dont think you know what your talking about ? Your Indian team lost to the Poms 4-0 where as the Lankans lost 1-0 ... Even in SA they lost by 2-1 ... So its obvious that the Lankans have fared better than your Indians ...

  • POSTED BY Cricolaalreadyinuse on | March 1, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    @Ramesh, the real threat is not Lee as much as it is Pattinson - so ask him to sit out :-D

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    We all love you Binga :) You are the best....

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    He is surely one of the ODI greats the cricketing world has even seen... Brett Lee is capable of taking wickets at any ground n in any condition...

  • POSTED BY kdushmantha on | March 1, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    to continue the journey Lee must have some rest because he is one of the great bowlers in the world.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    pls dont play mate ! take a rest and let us win this match..don`t be so greedy show us some mercy !

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    If and when Brett Lee decides or has to retire, he will be placed in the ranks with some of the greatest fast bowlers, espcially in ODI's he's already in good company with the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas. For now though Australians should enjoy watching Lee bowl for as long as they have him, bowlers are really vulnerable, for all we know Lee might get injured tomorrow and be forced to retire.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    jayawardene ...LOL.,..everybody knows your record in england SA and australia...just beaten australkia twice and look how big a mouth you have got ...pity SL fans..

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | March 1, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    I get the feeling that Lee knows if he sits out for injury that it will be harder to get back in - so is trying to prolong playing for the team. I wish him well as he has served us well over the years.

  • POSTED BY noitsnothim_itsme on | March 1, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Brett Lee can take wickets even when he is not bowling well!

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    @shramiac1: That's because Lee is obviously contributing more than Ponting in the ODIs right now. Just because we have to plan for 2015 doesn't mean the whole team should have juniors! The senior pros are needed to teach them the trade. Did you know that in Aus's last game against India only Watson, Mike Hussey and Lee had played more than 50 ODIs in the entire team?! If Lee is rested tomorrow, I guess it might be the least experienced Aus side on the field in the last decade!

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    look what mahela said''when der is pace and bounce they are d best''lol..jst go through records of sri lanka al their batsman except sanga are flat track bullys evn mahela..

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | March 1, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    @Brydon Coverdale... Broken foot?... Umm, try a small toe that has a crack, muscle damage & bruising... Played with a lot worse in sport & at work... Posted days ago: Pattinson in for Lee (most probably) - Hilfy & McKay are workhorses, so rest the "old man" Lee & give a few days off... Would prefer Clarke plays but not essential as Forrest is a good cover - both are a bit slow in their SR's in ODI's but solid performers...

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Lee is a useful player for Australia even when he is standing on the pitch!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    How the heck he is able to bowl with a broken foot throughout the tour....well if this is true.......then to me it's the 8th wonder of the world

  • POSTED BY shramiac1 on | March 1, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Why is he playing if he is injured??? He has done this on many occasions! Much to the detriment of the team and himself! Is it selfishness??? If you are injured you should not be picked!

    P.S. If Ponting was dropped due to "planning for the 2015 WC", shouldn't Lee also be dropped now as he will be nearly 39 by the time the WC rolls around???

  • POSTED BY KVAM on | March 1, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Bret Lee was lucky that he was blocking Sachin, who to me is the most gentle cricketer of modern times. If "Brute Lee" had tried this stund on one of the Patans or any other roughys of the side, he would have been one amoung in injury list for a long time.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | March 1, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Dhoni will hit lee six sixes in the finals...

  • POSTED BY bMike on | March 1, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    "Lee keen to play despite broken foot" it means Australia wanna take tomorrow match as the final so they are going to play with their best 11 despite injuries. If Aus can beat SL tomorrow it won't be a big issue for Aus even if one or two players get injured after tomorrow match because then Aus will play with India & it'll be very ordinary for Aus & they can easily thrash India as the same way they have been doing for last 3 months.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | March 1, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Oohhh... I wish he acts more sensibly and make himself available for the all important finals.. As they already qualified, it wont be bad to give the last game a miss and get enough rest or treatment for the injury..

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | March 1, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    So with all probable "Pattinson is going to replace Lee". We are going to miss LEE.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 1, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Brett Lee is doing a very important job for Oz in ODIs. I think his use-by date is coming fast in T20s - his stats aren't that great, but he still remains arguably the greatest strike bowler in ODI history & worth hanging onto for a while longer.

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    he's a fighter. good example for young sri lankan cricketers who gets time off when they have even a small niggle....

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | March 1, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    After Lee was smacked around in the last 2 games against Lanka, and because he has this broken foot of his.... I suspect he will be the one to be replaced by Pattinson

  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | March 1, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Oh pls lee take some time off, dont fall under the category of what people like harbhajan and ishant sharma did!!

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  • POSTED BY Solace1 on | March 1, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Oh pls lee take some time off, dont fall under the category of what people like harbhajan and ishant sharma did!!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | March 1, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    After Lee was smacked around in the last 2 games against Lanka, and because he has this broken foot of his.... I suspect he will be the one to be replaced by Pattinson

  • POSTED BY on | March 1, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    he's a fighter. good example for young sri lankan cricketers who gets time off when they have even a small niggle....

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 1, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Brett Lee is doing a very important job for Oz in ODIs. I think his use-by date is coming fast in T20s - his stats aren't that great, but he still remains arguably the greatest strike bowler in ODI history & worth hanging onto for a while longer.

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | March 1, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    So with all probable "Pattinson is going to replace Lee". We are going to miss LEE.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | March 1, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Oohhh... I wish he acts more sensibly and make himself available for the all important finals.. As they already qualified, it wont be bad to give the last game a miss and get enough rest or treatment for the injury..

  • POSTED BY bMike on | March 1, 2012, 7:51 GMT

    "Lee keen to play despite broken foot" it means Australia wanna take tomorrow match as the final so they are going to play with their best 11 despite injuries. If Aus can beat SL tomorrow it won't be a big issue for Aus even if one or two players get injured after tomorrow match because then Aus will play with India & it'll be very ordinary for Aus & they can easily thrash India as the same way they have been doing for last 3 months.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | March 1, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Dhoni will hit lee six sixes in the finals...

  • POSTED BY KVAM on | March 1, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Bret Lee was lucky that he was blocking Sachin, who to me is the most gentle cricketer of modern times. If "Brute Lee" had tried this stund on one of the Patans or any other roughys of the side, he would have been one amoung in injury list for a long time.

  • POSTED BY shramiac1 on | March 1, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Why is he playing if he is injured??? He has done this on many occasions! Much to the detriment of the team and himself! Is it selfishness??? If you are injured you should not be picked!

    P.S. If Ponting was dropped due to "planning for the 2015 WC", shouldn't Lee also be dropped now as he will be nearly 39 by the time the WC rolls around???