Australia’s unprecedented workload could actually help him get back in the Test team, feels fast bowler Brett Lee.
The challenge before Lee is to become the third bowler after Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Murlitharan and Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram to take 400 wickets in both Test and One-day cricket.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Lee needs 79 ODI wickets and 90 Test wickets to join this exclusive group.
“I’m not massive on wickets, but in saying that I have probably set myself one or two goals that I would like to do before I finish playing. I’d like to be the first Australian ever to take 400 ODId 400 Test wickets,” Lee was quoted, as saying. “That, to me, is a milestone that 10 or 12 years ago I would never even have dreamed about. To think that one day you might be a chance — might, I say, because it’s going to take a lot of hard work yet. That’s a couple of years’ work if I have two really good seasons. It’s certainly not off the limits if I play a couple of years of good cricket,” Lee added.
The 2011 World Cup on the subcontinent, another landmark in Lee’s mind, seems a long way off given the dizzying program that lies ahead. The final of the Champions Trophy, at Centurion on Monday will be Australia’s 10th match in 27 days. Lee has been informed by strength and conditioning coach Stuart Karpinnen that this is a record, but it is not one that the fast bowler — who turns 33 next month — is complaining about, given his desperation to break into the Test attack for the opening fixture of the summer against the West Indies on November 26.
As soon as the Champions Trophy is over, Lee will join his New South Wales teammates in India for the six million dollar Twenty20 Champions League before again linking with the Australians for seven ODIs against India.
Still, his prospects of breaking into the attack — in which the younger trio of Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle have struck a successful bond in his absence — appear bleak unless the national selectors opt for an all-pace attack in Brisbane, as they did last summer.
Lee has played just one first-class match since last summer’s Boxing Day Test, in which he strained a side muscle that ruled him out of the Ashes.