Sydney: Australian cricket selectors have told fast bowler Brett Lee to start taking wickets when he returns from a side strain next week if he wants to make the Test side to play New Zealand from November 8.
| Otherwise the selectors will look elsewhere for a new partner for Test regulars Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie. Queensland's Ashley Noffke, Michael Kasprowicz and Andrew Bichel and Victoria's Damien Fleming are the front-runners to take over if Lee fails to prove his fitness. "The main criteria for selection will be form, which is taking wickets, and current form is the most important," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said on Wednesday. "It's a good opportunity for all the fast bowlers around the country at the moment and most of the bowlers are fully fit." Lee, 25 on November 8 when Australia opens its three-Test series against New Zealand in Brisbane, took only nine wickets at 55 apiece on the recent Ashes series that Australia won 4-1. He was overlooked for a four-day Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Tasmania, which started at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday. "November 8 is my birthday so it would be a nice birthday present to play that Test," he said. "I've just got to make sure that I play the next Pura Cup (Sheffield Shield) game and hopefully I'll do well." The injury-plagued bowler, who has been trying to modify his action with the help of Australia fast bowling great Dennis Lillee, hoped to be back when New South Wales take on South Australia next week. Australia captain Steve Waugh is also expected to be back in action next week after recovering from a blood clot in his leg. |