Dennis Lillee, recently appointed as a consultant to Australia’s fast bowlers, said the team had made a “fabulous” decision to arrive early and give itself time to acclimatise to Indian conditions.
But he clarified that he wouldn’t be working with the touring squad during its pre-series preparation here. His expertise would be used by Cricket Australia (CA) to ensure that it had a roster of fit, technically efficient fast-bowlers in the long term.
“It came as a bit of a surprise when CA got in touch and asked if I would do some work with the top bowlers,” said Lillee, who dropped in at the MRF Pace Foundation on Thursday. “I’ll be consulting when there are technical issues or injuries, but I’m not going to be travelling with the team.”
He added that his role involved researching why young fast-bowlers broke down — something that has concerned CA over the last few years. “It’s not any one reason,” he said.
“I’m looking into a lot of things, certainly their training methods, but also technique. My focus is on fitness, strength, and flexibility. Technique is my forte. So there’s a lot I’ll be researching and thinking about.”
Backs rotation policy
Lillee said he was “a fan of rotation” to manage workloads and prevent injuries, but only if it was done smartly. “It’s something I suggested 17-18 years back, but thought must go into it. It can’t be willy-nilly.”
Asked about the challenges of bowling in the sub-continent, Lillee said, “I never played in India, I bowled in Pakistan and my figures were abysmal. So I’m not best placed to answer that.”
He said, however, that Glenn McGrath, who succeeded him as the head coach of the Foundation, had done well in India, and would be able to impart the experience he had gained.
The reason for Lillee’s latest visit — “I haven’t had a chance to miss Chennai yet,” he said — is personal. He was invited to attend a wedding in the Mammen family, the owner of MRF.