England v Australia, 1st Test, Cardiff July 6, 2009

Injured Lee in doubt for Ashes

45

Brett Lee has been ruled out of the first two Tests of the Ashes series with a low-grade abdominal tear and is no guarantee to play thereafter. As revealed by Cricinfo, the Australian fast bowler experienced pain down his left side following last week's tour game against England Lions in Worcester, and will be sidelined for the Cardiff and Lord's Tests at the very least.

Lee was absent from Australia's training session at Sophia Gardens on Monday after being sent to London for scans, which revealed a small tear in an abdominal muscle. His absence has thrown Australia's planning into disarray ahead of the first Test, which begins on Wednesday, and will deny the tourists the services of their most decorated bowler.

"There probably is a bit more disappointment that it is an Ashes Test," Lee said. "I'm extremely disappointed. I'm gutted that I won't be there for that first Test match. But I'll find a way to bounce back. I've gotten back from five ankle surgeries so I'm sure one little muscle strain won't keep me out for too long.

"I still see myself hopefully playing a major role for Australia through the end part of the series, whether that's the second, third, fourth or fifth Test match, depending on how things go. I'm very disappointed but it's not the end of the world. I've got a couple of weeks now to get it right. I'll be hopefully running in a couple of days if [the physio Alex Kountouris] lets me. I'll be working on my fitness ... and hopefully I'll be back shortly."

Lee was comfortably Australia's best bowler in the tour match in Worcester, claiming 6 for 76 in the first innings and displaying a mastery of reverse-swing, but his 35 overs have come at an immense cost.

Prior to the injury, Lee seemed certain to partner Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle in Australia's pace attack in Cardiff, with Stuart Clark and Nathan Hauritz duelling for the final bowling position. Precisely how the Australians will compensate for his absence remains uncertain, but Lee insisted the lessons from South Africa - in which Australia swept to a 2-1 series victory with a relatively untried pace line-up - would serve them well in the Ashes.

"I was going pretty much as hard as I possibly could [in Worcester]," Lee said. "I suppose I had to prove to myself that I can do it again. I never doubted in my own mind but it was more me going out there and showing that I can get close to the 100 mile an hour mark again and take wickets, which I've done. I'm proud about that and obviously I have sustained a small muscle tear which has ruled me out of the first Test match. Yes, I'm disappointed, but it's not the end of the world.

"It gives somebody else in our team an opportunity. We've got a very strong bowling attack here. The guys did the job in South Africa while I wasn't there. We've got a great bunch of guys, guys who are willing to go out there and do the hard work. I've got the utmost confidence in the guys that they can do the job out there."

Lee, Australia's most senior bowler with 310 wickets from 76 Tests, only recently returned to action after undergoing foot and ankle surgery following the Boxing Day Test against South Africa. The tour matches against Sussex and England Lions were his first outings outside of Twenty20 competition this year, and his display in Worcester last week had prompted many to feel that he was nearing peak form.

Kountouris said Lee could have faced 10 weeks on the sidelines had the injury not been detected so early. "We're pretty thankful it's not the more severe side of things," Kountouris said. "It is a relatively good outcome. We got it pretty early. Brett's pretty sensitive with his body and knows when things aren't quite right. We got it nice and early I think."

Kevin Pietersen resisted the temptation of indulging in a spot of pre-Ashes schadenfreude by expressing sadness for Lee. "It's a huge, huge loss for Australia," Pietersen said. "Who knows with the Australian team? It could be cat and mouse... [but] it's sad for [Lee] if it's true. We keep in touch and are pretty good mates.

"He's a fantastic competitor and an amazing bowler. We've all seen how he's bowled in the last couple of games. He's a huge, huge, huge player for Australia. There's his experience in the dressing room and also the intimidation he has on batsmen around the world, because he's the fastest bowler in the world."

Michael Clarke, Lee's Australian team-mate, expressed sympathy for his colleague. "He's worked really hard over the last 12 months to get back," he said. "I only found out this morning that he was having the scans, so it came as a bit of a surprise to me. The most important thing is to get Brett as fit as possible."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rohit_sud on July 7, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    I am extremely sad that Brett lee is unavailable for the first 2 ashes test matches.I just hope that he recovers in time.Australia needs a quality bowler like him.Andrew strauss is in good form and they don't have warne to tame him this time around.Things are looking complicated for the Australians.But still ponting's men have an outside chance of winning this tournament.2-1 to aussies.

  • Dan-argent on July 7, 2009, 14:30 GMT

    Lee's injury is a blow to Australia, but England's chances of winning are still not improved. 3-1 to Australia.

  • Kit_Silver on July 7, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    Again I'm amazed that Harmison & Sidebottom aren't in the side but Lee's injury evens it out a bit. Also, as mentioned above, where is Krejza? Selection mistakes by Australia help us too but they're still slightly better as it stands and the best England can hope for is a drawn series. Or maybe a win if the weather helps!

  • TheDoctor394 on July 7, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    It seems to me the English fans rate Lee more highly than the Australians. Personally, as an English fan living in Australia, I haven't been particularly concerned about Lee, as he doesn't have a very good record against England, nor has he been in great form for a while, so don't see this as a big loss. I really don't see how this could be the difference between Australia winning and losing.

  • _Australian_ on July 7, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    In what was shaping up to be a close game that could have gone either way has now swung towards an England win. For those who have commented that it does not matter or glad or don't care if Lee played are clueless or have not watched him bowl lately. V. South Africa it was a dominating Johnson that gave us that series win but it was a 2-1 win. To expect one player to have such a big workload and win you every game in a 5 match series is too much to ask. Lee was the perfect ingredient to assist Johnson in having 2 strike weapons and without him we will again struggle to take 20 wickets.

  • Suresh_Joseph on July 7, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    I think both teams are doing the same kind of mistakes. This is not Eng vs WI... or Oz vs NZ. Big moments need big match players... Harmison and Lee may have looked out of sorts in recent times, but when they get going, they compensate for all the bad times. I doubt if the Onions, Sidebottoms, Siddles and the Hauritz-es of the world can do that. The absence of Gilly, Hayden, Symonds, McGrath and Warne (for Australia) and Trescothik & Vaughan (for England) make both teams look a shadow of their line-ups from the 2005 series. While Australia could do little about retirements, England has done a shoddy job of managing its players, losing them to just about everything, from injuries to acts of God. This is going to be a tight series, not because there are two really good teams competing, but because there are two teams currently battling their own devils.

  • D-Men on July 7, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    Lee..........Lethal, Hmm one can only hope that Australia can do well without him!He's got a natural flair that no other fast bowler possesses,It's has become tricky once again for Ricky,guess this could be another summer like 2005, when Aussies dearly missed Pidge for those two test matches.Time for Siddles and Hauritzs.

  • haha102 on July 7, 2009, 2:20 GMT

    I think we can win easily without Lee. Tht's not to say that we wouldn't be a better team without him, just that we have incredible depth and can do it easily. In regards to spinners I CANNOT BELIEVE KREJZA is not in our squad. Krejza has the ability to be as destructive and consistent as warne and macgill were. WHERE IS KREJZA?

  • redneck on July 7, 2009, 0:47 GMT

    if we didnt need him to beat south africa we wont need him to beat england! if this were a test in the sub continent then we would desperatly need his reverse swing but mitch, clark & siddle are still a very good pace trio add to that hilfy or dare i say hauritz and there is still enough variation to take 20 wickets! forget mcgain, poor bloke is probably still getting theropy about cape town!

  • KejoPeters on July 7, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    It's sad the Brett had to miss but to be honest i think Hilfenhaus should retain his place.He performed reasonably well in South Africa and should be given an extended run for confidence because we know he is talented.Clark hasn't played a test for a while and hasn't played enough competitive cricket for me but that being said that man is a true performer so it's pretty hard but in all fairness Hilfy should get some more matches.Aussie should also play Hauritz,i don't see whats so hard in that.They should just make due with what they have.A spinner should always be in a side for balance,it offers something that the same old hard ball,and i feel if confidence is bestowed upon Hauritz,he'll be a reasonable bowler becasue the only difference between him and Swanny for me is confidence and the fact swanny tosses up the ball more but that may be due to his confidence.

  • rohit_sud on July 7, 2009, 18:09 GMT

    I am extremely sad that Brett lee is unavailable for the first 2 ashes test matches.I just hope that he recovers in time.Australia needs a quality bowler like him.Andrew strauss is in good form and they don't have warne to tame him this time around.Things are looking complicated for the Australians.But still ponting's men have an outside chance of winning this tournament.2-1 to aussies.

  • Dan-argent on July 7, 2009, 14:30 GMT

    Lee's injury is a blow to Australia, but England's chances of winning are still not improved. 3-1 to Australia.

  • Kit_Silver on July 7, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    Again I'm amazed that Harmison & Sidebottom aren't in the side but Lee's injury evens it out a bit. Also, as mentioned above, where is Krejza? Selection mistakes by Australia help us too but they're still slightly better as it stands and the best England can hope for is a drawn series. Or maybe a win if the weather helps!

  • TheDoctor394 on July 7, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    It seems to me the English fans rate Lee more highly than the Australians. Personally, as an English fan living in Australia, I haven't been particularly concerned about Lee, as he doesn't have a very good record against England, nor has he been in great form for a while, so don't see this as a big loss. I really don't see how this could be the difference between Australia winning and losing.

  • _Australian_ on July 7, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    In what was shaping up to be a close game that could have gone either way has now swung towards an England win. For those who have commented that it does not matter or glad or don't care if Lee played are clueless or have not watched him bowl lately. V. South Africa it was a dominating Johnson that gave us that series win but it was a 2-1 win. To expect one player to have such a big workload and win you every game in a 5 match series is too much to ask. Lee was the perfect ingredient to assist Johnson in having 2 strike weapons and without him we will again struggle to take 20 wickets.

  • Suresh_Joseph on July 7, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    I think both teams are doing the same kind of mistakes. This is not Eng vs WI... or Oz vs NZ. Big moments need big match players... Harmison and Lee may have looked out of sorts in recent times, but when they get going, they compensate for all the bad times. I doubt if the Onions, Sidebottoms, Siddles and the Hauritz-es of the world can do that. The absence of Gilly, Hayden, Symonds, McGrath and Warne (for Australia) and Trescothik & Vaughan (for England) make both teams look a shadow of their line-ups from the 2005 series. While Australia could do little about retirements, England has done a shoddy job of managing its players, losing them to just about everything, from injuries to acts of God. This is going to be a tight series, not because there are two really good teams competing, but because there are two teams currently battling their own devils.

  • D-Men on July 7, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    Lee..........Lethal, Hmm one can only hope that Australia can do well without him!He's got a natural flair that no other fast bowler possesses,It's has become tricky once again for Ricky,guess this could be another summer like 2005, when Aussies dearly missed Pidge for those two test matches.Time for Siddles and Hauritzs.

  • haha102 on July 7, 2009, 2:20 GMT

    I think we can win easily without Lee. Tht's not to say that we wouldn't be a better team without him, just that we have incredible depth and can do it easily. In regards to spinners I CANNOT BELIEVE KREJZA is not in our squad. Krejza has the ability to be as destructive and consistent as warne and macgill were. WHERE IS KREJZA?

  • redneck on July 7, 2009, 0:47 GMT

    if we didnt need him to beat south africa we wont need him to beat england! if this were a test in the sub continent then we would desperatly need his reverse swing but mitch, clark & siddle are still a very good pace trio add to that hilfy or dare i say hauritz and there is still enough variation to take 20 wickets! forget mcgain, poor bloke is probably still getting theropy about cape town!

  • KejoPeters on July 7, 2009, 0:44 GMT

    It's sad the Brett had to miss but to be honest i think Hilfenhaus should retain his place.He performed reasonably well in South Africa and should be given an extended run for confidence because we know he is talented.Clark hasn't played a test for a while and hasn't played enough competitive cricket for me but that being said that man is a true performer so it's pretty hard but in all fairness Hilfy should get some more matches.Aussie should also play Hauritz,i don't see whats so hard in that.They should just make due with what they have.A spinner should always be in a side for balance,it offers something that the same old hard ball,and i feel if confidence is bestowed upon Hauritz,he'll be a reasonable bowler becasue the only difference between him and Swanny for me is confidence and the fact swanny tosses up the ball more but that may be due to his confidence.

  • shoddy on July 6, 2009, 23:55 GMT

    I`m just praying that we`ll see him in action at some point this summer, in what must be his last ashes tour. If we don`t, I`ll forever remember his celebration when he took Freddie`s wicket in the 2nd innings at Trent Bridge 4 years ago, it says all you need to know about the guy, it made the hairs on my back stand up, he is truly the last of the great Aussie bowlers of that golden era. He is the true epitomy of what we are looking for from an Aussie. Fingers crossed he gets fit and gets loudly applauded off one of our grounds for the last time.

  • Domingo on July 6, 2009, 23:41 GMT

    I can only hope this doesn't turn into 2005 with Lee playing the role of McGrath, Australia losing each time he isn't able to play...

  • lyra_silvertongue on July 6, 2009, 23:37 GMT

    >Posted by dacha on (July 06 2009, 13:54 PM GMT) > >This may be a shock to English supporters, but all the Australian cricket lovers I know are delighted that Brett is injured.

    yes, this may have saved the ashes for Australia and just so you know, we don't want Watson back either

  • scoos on July 6, 2009, 22:50 GMT

    i think we need to bring back warnie

  • twopac on July 6, 2009, 22:49 GMT

    Perhaps now is the time for the selectors to right one of their wrongs by sending in Bryce McGain as cover for the injured Lee. Australia needs an attacking spinner and Bryce won't make the same mistakes he made in South Africa. Stuart Clarke should now enter the fray in place of Lee, with Hauritz as the specialist spinner. Both sides will be nervous, but Australia needs wickets to win and a specialist spinner is essential. Nathan just needs to believe in his abilities and give that ball a real tweak and flight.

  • fulleraaron on July 6, 2009, 21:33 GMT

    This is bad news. I'm an England fan, but it's better all round if both teams can put out their best sides. (Apart from the fact hat people in the know reckon Lee to be a great bloke as well as a great competitor.) Even if England win now, there'll be asking themselves 'but what if...?'. And if they don'r ask themselves, there'll be no lack of Australians to bring it up for them.

  • TheDoctor394 on July 6, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    I have no sympathy for Australia as a whole when they get an injury like this, since they had a great and fortunate run of few injuries during their great years, compared with some other teams, but I do feel for Lee himself, and never rejoice in an individual's pain. He must be desperately disappointed, after bowling so well over the weekend. All the best to him.

  • Dheepan on July 6, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    Just when one thought Aussies are getting their act together! i better adjust my fantasy team to feature more poms now that aussies dont have their prime weapon!

  • __PK on July 6, 2009, 20:44 GMT

    A huge, huge, huge player for Australia. That's why he wasn't needed to beat South Africa at home. Thanks for the insight, Kevin. And he's no longer the fastest bowler in the Australian team, let alone the world. But it IS interesting to know he has you intimidated.

  • srivatsan on July 6, 2009, 20:12 GMT

    @@Partyman

    I'm sorry have to disagree. It would not make an inch of difference. I'm glad he is injured now rather than the middle of the series (like what happened to Gillespie last tour. He was awkward and hopeless). It has made things worse for England as you will Siddle and Bollinger will rock (both are fit, young and raring to go).

    And Pls don't compare Lee with Mcgrath and Simon Jones. One is once a generation bowler the other one bowles for a series and gets himself injured for the next 10!. Lee was ordinary last ashes in Eng(2005). It was once again left to Mcgrath and Warne to clean up wickets. They failed because Gillespie was awful and so was Lee..

    So it's good he's injured.

  • DaTBird187 on July 6, 2009, 19:16 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Hillfenhaus did the job in South Africa against a much better batting line-up than Englands. I think with Stuart Clark back fit there is plenty of pace options. Bollinger is also pretty handy and bowled well this week for Australia A v Pakistan.

  • Ruri on July 6, 2009, 18:36 GMT

    Oh thats brutal for Lee. It is good that England have a better shot now, but Brett has been my 2nd favorite bowler for some time now. It is a joy to watch him. And Dacha, I've no clue what you're talking about, Brett has proved effective hasn't he? I'd still rate him higher than Johnson at the moment, and defintely over Siddle. Unless those two figure out how to reverse it, this may be tough for Australia.

    I'm wishing Lee a speedy recovery, he deserves to play in the Ashes, especially with his work ethic and committment. And he is probably one of the most genial Aussies around, so he is extremely likable to the other camps, unlike people like Punter (now that's one that I wouldn't mind seeing injured).

  • vmv49 on July 6, 2009, 18:21 GMT

    Couldn't agree more dacha. After a magical start to his career, he started believing all the hype and averaged 35+ per wicket for the next 5 years. And this with McGrath as his bowling partner. Oddly, he learned a lot from the 2005 Ashes when he was required to be a stock bowler due to McGrath's injury and Gillespie's poor form.

    Now that Watson and Lee are out perhaps the selectors can settle on some bowlers playing for the team.

  • 1994minhaal on July 6, 2009, 18:16 GMT

    Ohhh cmon... Main bowler injured :'(.. But no worries aussies all da way.. Hopefully we retaining dis ashes !!!!!

  • Shaneblack on July 6, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    If this is not disappointment for Brett then what can we say after being out of the international seen for quit some time and trying to make a return for the highly anticipated ashes and reaching this far and then tragedy struck Brett must be saying to himself why me. I know he will be miss my the Australians because he have a very good record against the English so once again disappointment for Australia and what can we say good luck to them in the ashes.

  • Partyman on July 6, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    Sandy011 - I guess you are an Aussie. We English fans are very much used to our key players getting injured in the wrong side of an Ashes. Darren Gough in 1994/95, Michael Vaughan in 2006/07, Simon Jones 2005 - the list goes on. I guess its time for the rub of the ill luck on the Aussies. Having said that Lee is a top player, whose absence would have a telling effect as did McGrath's absence four years ago. All England need to do is to capitalise before he comes back. They can't get better luck that this.

  • whoster on July 6, 2009, 16:10 GMT

    Although I'm English, and Brett Lee''s injury is obviously a huge blow for the Aussies, I really feel for the guy. Brett is probably the most popular Aussie in England, because he shows that you can give it everything and still play with a smile on the face. I hope he can play a part in this series, because Brett Lee is so exciting with both ball and bat. The Aussies will now have to fly in a reinforcement, and Bollinger is the obvious option. Changing the subject, the Aussie selectors have made an absolute hash of picking spinners since Warnie's retirement. What they should have done is settled on one name, and given him a long run to prove himself. What they've done is chopped and changed in their desperation to find a long term successor. The upshot is that they've got a hugely inexperienced spinner in Hauritz, whose confidence and ability will be severely tested if he gets selected.

  • ChinmayChhabra on July 6, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    I think Aussies should look for a swing bowler, a medium pace swing bowler to exploit the English pitches, instead of an all out pace replacement

  • bill_mccai on July 6, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    Selectors may very well have their eye on the two spinners they had playing that Aus A game (not counting White). Both seemed to do rather well.

    Hilfy and Clarke are ample fast bowling cover, it's the spinner role that's looking underdone.

  • alvysinger on July 6, 2009, 15:18 GMT

    Fine. Now they just have to have Ponting ruled out, along with an opening batsman to put them in the same injury position as Eng at the start of the last ashes series.

  • mosse on July 6, 2009, 15:03 GMT

    I think Lee should hang up his boots, Injury in the South Afircan tour has done the damage, No a result after that warm up game verse England Lions, Lee has taken his toll... Maybe Doug Bollinger can get a call-up or Moises Henriques might be a suprising Call-up, England have a great squad and should come back after that terrible 2006 Ashes Series where they lost 5-0.

  • adnan_masroor on July 6, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    what a big loss for Australia before the start of the first Ashes test. Lee was in tremendous form during the warmup matches

    i hope he gets back soon to the team

  • Jonnyb227 on July 6, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    This is great news for England as he is always a threat i thought that it was quite even before Lee was injured and know i think that England could have the edge (this is a view of a couple of people i have been speaking too about it)

  • handyandy on July 6, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Agreed ... get another spinner in the team ... Mcgain is the obvious choice despite his disasterous debut.

  • dacha on July 6, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    This may be a shock to English supporters, but all the Australian cricket lovers I know are delighted that Brett is injured. In my circles he is regarded as the most over rated fast bowler to play for us. Can you imagine how it will be when he doesn't waste the new ball. We will be able to have bowlers that bowl more than one good spell a test, guys that have an idea of how to get a batsman out rather than more mindless bouncer then yorker bowling. As we saw in Sth Africa and in the Sydney test we will get a team bowling effort instead of having a petulant sook fighting with his captain because he didn't get the new ball. The only tragedy here is that we threw away the T20 world cup and the two warm up games in an effort to pander to his ego. This injury vastly improves our chances of winning the Ashes, it's no coincindence that our best performances in since the retirement of McGarth and Warne has been when Brett was out of the team.

  • swaroopyjs on July 6, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    The loss of brett lee is the biggest blow for aussies, they have to call a specialist spinner like mc gain or shwann, hoping to see lee fit in the days to come

  • AndyLong on July 6, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    Poor old Brett! I watched him at Worcester, and he looked REALLY good! Its a bitter blow - I would normally take great pleasure from injured Aussies (McGrath at Edgbaston in '05 - GET IN!!), but Brett is a special player. Everyone wants to see him play!

  • XaViVeK on July 6, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    I hope that the news given out by the Australian camp is a fake one to disrupt the England planning. The England team will be stunned to see Brett Lee fit and raring to go on the eve of the Cardiff test.

  • boris6491 on July 6, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    That is a downright shame. I was really looking forward to watching him. I just hope this does not encourage the Australians to select Hauritz. Undoubtedly they need a spinner but Hauritz is a real liability. I still feel that Hilfenhaus deserves his go and if he doesnt perform, Bollinger should certainly be fast tracked into that side. Yes D.V.C a spinner would be excellent to have but in such a high profile series its unlikely they will opt for McGain or any of their 'has-beens' so as to speak. Currently, the best option they have is a four man pace attack comprising of Johnson, Siddle, Clark and Hilfenhaus/Bollinger. A real shame though as Lee was really one to watch. Hopefully by the time he returns we will be doing well enough for him to slot back in and perform well for us.

  • crackers134 on July 6, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    Australia desperately need McGain for the first test, forget his test debut, he is a quality leg-spinner who would trouble England. He and another batsmen, whether it is Hodge, Ferguson, Bailey or D.Hussey, need to be added to the squad now. Hauritz will get smashed by England, Pieterson will love to face him and will hit him back to England if Hauritz plays the 1st test in Wales!

  • starcricketer on July 6, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    Hopefully Johnson can regain his zip for the series. Aus winning looks dim at the moment.

  • Woody111 on July 6, 2009, 12:57 GMT

    This unlucky bloke: hopefully he can bowl in the series. Lee has put in the time to contend for a bowling spot. If Aus are going to get a pacer over there - get Bollinger!

  • phil765 on July 6, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    While it is a great shame for Brett I couldn't help but grin while reading that!!

    Is it wrong to be feeling this confident?? I can really see the Aussies struggling to get 20 wickets in a match against our long tail now.

    Te he he

  • Sandy011 on July 6, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Not again <sigh>. How much more does he have to suffer?

  • D.V.C. on July 6, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    Australia should use this opportunity to add McGain or an extra batsmanto the touring party - they have enough fast bowlers to cover Lee's absence already.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • D.V.C. on July 6, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    Australia should use this opportunity to add McGain or an extra batsmanto the touring party - they have enough fast bowlers to cover Lee's absence already.

  • Sandy011 on July 6, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Not again <sigh>. How much more does he have to suffer?

  • phil765 on July 6, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    While it is a great shame for Brett I couldn't help but grin while reading that!!

    Is it wrong to be feeling this confident?? I can really see the Aussies struggling to get 20 wickets in a match against our long tail now.

    Te he he

  • Woody111 on July 6, 2009, 12:57 GMT

    This unlucky bloke: hopefully he can bowl in the series. Lee has put in the time to contend for a bowling spot. If Aus are going to get a pacer over there - get Bollinger!

  • starcricketer on July 6, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    Hopefully Johnson can regain his zip for the series. Aus winning looks dim at the moment.

  • crackers134 on July 6, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    Australia desperately need McGain for the first test, forget his test debut, he is a quality leg-spinner who would trouble England. He and another batsmen, whether it is Hodge, Ferguson, Bailey or D.Hussey, need to be added to the squad now. Hauritz will get smashed by England, Pieterson will love to face him and will hit him back to England if Hauritz plays the 1st test in Wales!

  • boris6491 on July 6, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    That is a downright shame. I was really looking forward to watching him. I just hope this does not encourage the Australians to select Hauritz. Undoubtedly they need a spinner but Hauritz is a real liability. I still feel that Hilfenhaus deserves his go and if he doesnt perform, Bollinger should certainly be fast tracked into that side. Yes D.V.C a spinner would be excellent to have but in such a high profile series its unlikely they will opt for McGain or any of their 'has-beens' so as to speak. Currently, the best option they have is a four man pace attack comprising of Johnson, Siddle, Clark and Hilfenhaus/Bollinger. A real shame though as Lee was really one to watch. Hopefully by the time he returns we will be doing well enough for him to slot back in and perform well for us.

  • XaViVeK on July 6, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    I hope that the news given out by the Australian camp is a fake one to disrupt the England planning. The England team will be stunned to see Brett Lee fit and raring to go on the eve of the Cardiff test.

  • AndyLong on July 6, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    Poor old Brett! I watched him at Worcester, and he looked REALLY good! Its a bitter blow - I would normally take great pleasure from injured Aussies (McGrath at Edgbaston in '05 - GET IN!!), but Brett is a special player. Everyone wants to see him play!

  • swaroopyjs on July 6, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    The loss of brett lee is the biggest blow for aussies, they have to call a specialist spinner like mc gain or shwann, hoping to see lee fit in the days to come