India will be a big presence in WC: Brett lee

Published: Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Australian speedster Brett Lee said India, with a mixture of young and experienced players, was sure to make its presence felt in a big way at the World Cup 2007.

In a chat with newspersons here, he said after Greg Chappell took over as Team India coach, a lot of youngsters were taken into the team and his experiment with a mixture of both fresh and experienced players had been fetching good results.

''Team India was passing through a low phase when Chappell took charge and revamped the batting order, got some fresh young quicks and retained experienced players. You can't just run a team with a bunch of fresh players. You need experience too and India has now got its mix correct. I think they will be a big presence in the World Cup. We look forward to tackling them at the Champions Trophy,'' he added.

Ruling out the possibility of Australia fielding a second string team in the Champions Trophy, recipient of the Wisden Cricketer of the Year Award, said ''I think there is a lot of speculation and I have been reading a lot about this in the newspapers here for the last few days. The way I look at it is that playing in the Sub-continent is a challenge and we enjoy playing here and I believe that we will send our best side here.'' Asked about the criticisms against master blaster Sachin Tendulkar's performance in the recent matches, Lee exuded confidence that Tendulkar would be back in form and score many more centuries.

''Sachin has done enormously well for both India as well as world cricket and you cannot write him off on the basis of recent statistics. To average consistently over 50 is a tremendous achievement and I am sure that once Sachin recovers, he will score more centuries. However, I hope it won't be against us. He has raised the bar so much that people expect him to slam centuries all the time,'' he added.

To a question, Lee said it was really good that there was more cricket these days compared to earlier days. ''It really is a fine line between too much cricket and too little cricket and we have to ensure that the crowds get to watch their players at their best. Now I am just going to get back home and enjoy a four-month break before we prepare for the Champions Trophy, Ashes and eventually the World Cup.''

Asked whether he took any tips from ace Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram, Lee said ''He was one of my heroes while growing up. Yes I did chat with him about reverse swing. He taught me the various grips and hopefully I will add this to my repertoire in the coming months. I am looking forward to trying the stuff. I have always spoken to former cricketers and back home I often get back to my mentor Steve Waugh.''

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