Brett Lee, a former Australia speedster, talks about Test cricket and the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand in 2021.
1 .Would you mind telling us about your favourite Test memory…?
My favourite Test match has to be my MCG debut in 1999, when I bowled to Sachin Tendulkar in a Boxing Day Test against a very strong Indian squad. It fulfilled all of my expectations and then some! My favourite Test memory, though, is of the 2005 England Test series. When I think about it, the second Test of the series, where Australia was defeated by two runs at Edgbaston, has to be one of my favourites. Michael Kasprowicz and I were out in the centre. Even though Australia lost, the game was played in a very professional manner. The manner in which both teams competed. They were fiercely competitive on the field, but equally so off it.Everything was on the line because of the crowd’s involvement. It was a fantastic series. Many people wonder why you chose a series in which you lost. And I believe it is due to the way you play. It is not necessary to win every game of cricket in order to enjoy it. As long as you give it your all, and England was simply too excellent for us that day.
2.Which Test batter is your favourite, and why?
Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were two of my favourite Test bats while I was playing. Brian Lara was a colourful character. You could bowl six balls to him in the same area, say at the top of the off stump, and someone like Brian Lara could hit me down the ground, work me behind square, cut me behind by a point, drive through the covers, or hit me straight down the ground to the offside if I aimed at that spot for six consecutive deliveries.He’s so unexpected, while with Sachin Tendulkar, I knew if I delivered a full edge side off stump, he’d smash me over extra cover, and if I bowled right through the off stump, he’d cut me down the ground through mid-off. He’d knock me through the wicket if I bowled on leg stump; if I bowled short, he’d either cut or pull me.
So, both of them were technically excellent batters who I had to play against. With Sachin, you could predict where the ball would go, but you had to sop it up. He possessed exceptional cricket skills, a kind demeanour, and a sharp cricket mind. When it comes to recent greats, it’s difficult to ignore Virat Kohli. What a remarkable track record he has. He’s only getting better as he gets older. He not only has a wonderful attitude, but he also has a fantastic cricket intellect.
4. Which Test bowler is your favourite, and why?
Pat Cummins is definitely my favourite bowler at the moment. You could think I’m prejudiced because I’m an Aussie or because he was a previous teammate of mine, but Pat Cummins is genuine greatness. I’m referring to his abilities. He has a fantastic technique. He has a fantastic arsenal of tricks under his sleeve.And he’s the person who, whether or not it occurs, I believe is destined to be an Australian captain in the future. That is fantastic to be mentioned in that setting. But he strikes the bat more often than other bowlers I see throughout the world, in my opinion. Take a look at Jasprit Bumrah, for example. He can regularly take wickets, which is incredible. Pat Cummins, on the other hand, is definitely my current favourite.