Brett Lee has said that Australia's pace attack will not be neutralised during the World Cup by the traditionally slow wickets of the subcontinent. Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson are three bowlers in the Australia squad capable of hitting the 145-kmh mark on a regular basis.
"I don't see any problem with the pace that we have and playing on slow wickets," Lee said. "At the end of the day, the ball is still coming at 150kmh through the air. The pitch is a massive part of the equation. But if you have a bowler like Shaun Tait bowling around 160kmh at the batsman's toes, it doesn't matter where you are playing. It is still going to hit the batsmen on the full."
Australia have been talking up the role their fast bowlers will play during the World Cup - Mitchell Johnson had earlier said no-one would be keen on facing Australia's pace - and Lee echoed that view, saying it was with good reason because Australia's quicks have previously done well in the subcontinent. In the seven-match series that Australia played in India towards the end of 2009, Shane Watson, Johnson and Doug Bollinger, who are part of Australia's fifteen for the World Cup, were the top three wicket-takers, and Australia won the series 4-2.
Prior to that, in Australia's victorious campaign in the 2006 Champions Trophy in India, it was Lee along with Watson, Nathan Bracken and Glen McGrath who were the key wicket-takers. "For pace bowling you've got to get the ball in the right spot," Lee said. "The way we bowled in the Champions Trophy, with lots of pace bowlers, we won that event. Playing on slow wickets like in Delhi tends to suit our pace attack."
Australia have picked just one frontline spinner for the World Cup: offspinner Jason Krejza, a bowler who has played just one ODI. Both Nathan Hauritz and Xavier Doherty missed out due to injuries, leaving Australia heavily dependent on their fast bowlers.
Lee returned to the Australia team for the recent series against England, which Australia won 6-1, after a 15-month layoff caused by an elbow injury, but he was upbeat ahead of what will be his second World Cup. "It has been a long road back. It's been 15 months away from the game. A lot of players expected me to get back and play cricket and I am proud that I could survive the adversity to a certain extent."