Brett Lee spoke about the importance of bench strength, especially during the current pandemic situation, and singled out India’s performance against Australia. After making it to the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, India will kick off the 2021-23 edition with a five-match series against England, with the first Test commencing on 4 August.
One of the highlights of India’s road to the finals was their victory Down Under against Australia, where they fought back from 1-0 down to win the series 2-1, while losing several key members of the squad along the way, including skipper Virat Kohli.
Brett Lee Credits India’s Bench Strength For Comeback Win In Australia
In the Australian tour, after losing the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, India roared back to take the series 2-1, winning the second and fourth Tests in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, while the third Test match in Sydney ended in a magnificent draw.
With regular skipper Virat Kohli returning home after the first Test, the odds were stacked against India and their stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. Despite losing several key players to injury as the series progressed, India fought back to register one of their greatest Test series wins of all time.
“The bench strength is crucial for a team to do well and India’s performance in Australia bears testimony to that,” said Brett Lee. “Teams are not of just 11 players anymore. There are some 16-17 of them and it is about having others who are good enough to stand up at the world level at any given time. Also, with traveling in bubbles, there will be players who get extended rests and others who get fatigued, but that is how the times are.”
Being 1-0 down, losing the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli due to his paternity leave, having lost several key players like Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja due to injuries at various stages of 4 match Test series, a second-string Ajinkya Rahane-led India staged a comeback as they won their second straight Test series on Australian soil.
India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series beginning August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship.
Brett Lee Praises Fantastic Performances From Indian Pacers
The former Australia paceman also heaped praise for a present lot of young Indian bowlers and reckons that they are ready to take over for several years to come.
“A word here about the Indian bowling attack, which I feel has been fantastic,” Brett Lee added. “They have experienced bowlers and some good young guys coming through. They have enough pace, are excited and enthusiastic, ready to take over from the likes of Bumrah and Shami. This trend may help India do well for the next 10, 15 or even 20 years.”
In the first WTC cycle, New Zealand defeated India in the finals to win the Test mace. Brett Lee believes that WTC has brought back the interest in the longest format of the game. Former Australia pacer Brett Lee has praised the Indian bench strength and believes that the young bowlers are ready to take over from the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
In the WTC Final, Mohammed Shami was the only effective bowler who returned with 4 wickets under his belt while veteran Ishant Sharma managed to pick three wickets in the first innings, while Jasprit Bumrah was the only bowler to return wickless.