Ganguly and team to scale new heights: Lee

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Chennai :Crediting Captain Sourav Ganguly with taking the team to new heights, Australian speedster Brett Lee on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that the Indians performed better Down Under in their last tour only because of the absence of himself and Glenn McGrath.

Indian team under Ganguly has moved to great heights. The crux of the matter is that Ganguly is determined to stay focussed and scale new heights," the Australian speed king said in Chennai.

"It is not right to say that they (Indians) performed better only because of our absence. A good performance should be appreciated," says Lee, who is in Chennai as the brand ambassador of 'Timex" watches.

"I am disappointed that I missed those matches but I am looking forward to our visit to India in coming October."

Talking about India's latest newball bowlers L Balaji and Irfan Pathan, Lee said it was good to see potential youngsters coming through in the world of cricket. "It is good for India."

He described V V S Laxman as an excellent batsman with technical soundness, comparable to Sachin Tendulkar's. "We have played cricket together at junior levels in 1994. He used to whack me to all parts of the ground," he recalled.

Lee was of the opinion that the coming series between India and Australia would be a challenging one. "Ganguly is determined to keep up to his winning momentum as much as Ricky Ponting, who wants to take his team higher and higher. It will be a great chance to tour India." When asked what the Indians need to do to bowl faster, Lee said, "It is a complicated one and there are a lot of technical things involved. It is a question of co-ordination of the left and right arms. The right arm has to go up as swiftly as the left arm comes down. These are taught well by Dennis (Lillee) back in Australia and at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai."

On the oft repeated questions about "chucking" and "batsmen-friendly pitches', the Australian speed king, who has taken 151 wickets in 84 One-dayers, said, "It is not important as to which country they come from. Such illegal actions should be corrected at a young age."

Stating that he too had been hauled up for illegal action, he said it was a tough time to go through. "It is very hurting and I can understand the feelings of Muttiah (Muralitharan) and Shoaib (Akhthar)."

As for batsmen friendly pitches, he said, "fast bowling is a challenging one, a great and enjoyable job. If the wicket is not conducive, we make good of the bounce that we extract from the turf."

On the inquiry against Akhtar by the Pakistan Cricket Board for not taking the field mid-way through the third and final Test against India, Lee said, "he has been a friend of me for over ten years now. I will not believe that he was faking an injury."

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