Its advantage India against Aussies minus Lee

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Adelaide: In-form Australian pace spearhead Breet Lee will be rested in the CB tri-series tie against India at the Adelaide Oval 'morrow.

Lee earns a well-deserved rest after working tirelessly to establish himself as the bowler of the season, taking 40 wickets in six Tests and eight in the triangular ODI tournament so far.

Mitchell Johnson, who might share the new ball with Bracken in Lee's absence, admits the break is a good move for him.

''Brett's having a well-deserved rest. It's very important.

I had a break during the Twenty20 game against India earlier in the month, and understand that rest periods are very good for the bowlers,'' Johnson said.

Keeping in mind the long summer and the fact that the tournament has just reached the halfway mark, the Australian management thought it would be wiser to preserve their most precious bowler instead of overburdening him.

The Australians have an injury scare as well, courtesy Michael Clarke. Clarke is a doubtful starter with rib injury suffered in their previous encounter against Lankans in Perth.

"He's a little bit sore and tender still," was Johnson's update. The Australians have, in any case, called up David Hussey as a backup. Hussey has been in superb form this season, scoring 729 runs at 66.27 in the Pura Cup and 321 at 35.66 in domestic one-dayers. The only other change in the line-up will be Stuart Clark for Lee.

Meanwhile, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes that the Australian firepower will not diminish in Lee's absence.

''They are a good bowling side with or without Lee. They've the ability to get batsmen out,'' Dhoni said as his team came out for their third and final practice session before the game.

However, Dhoni emphasised that tomorrow's encounter is important and indicated that India still holds the edge in the wake of their five-wicket victory against Australia in Melbourne.

Dhoni stated that it is difficult to ascertain which of the two teams have the momentum, but based his confidence on the fast-improving performances of his young batsmen and bowlers.

''The bowlers have taken up the responsibility and raised the level of their performance. Now the key is to be consistent,'' he added.


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