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Brett Lee says his son's favourite batsman is India's captain Virat Kohli. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

My Son’s Favourite Batsman Is Virat Kohli, Reveals Brett Lee

Australian bowling legend Brett Lee has revealed his son’s favourite batsman is none other than Indian batting stalwart and captain Virat Kohli. The 28-year old, who has been the most dominant batsman in all formats lately is a master of limited over cricket.

In the last home, he scored four double centuries in as many Test series and recently broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most centuries while chasing. India’s batting stalwart had slammed a series-clinching century in the last ODI against West Indies which was also his 28th ODI hundred.

My Son’s Favourite Batsman Is Virat Kohli, Reveals Brett Lee 1
Image credits: AFP

Lee, who is currently in Chennai to ply his trade as a commentator in Tamil Nadu Premier League, not only revealed his son’s liking for Kohli but also shared a beautiful gesture from the Indian star.

“My 10-year-old son’s favourite batsman is Virat Kohli. Once, when Kohli walked past me and we shook hands, I told him that you are my son’s favourite batsman. Kohli showed a great gesture when he gave my son one of his Test shirts signed – with best wishes Kohli,” Lee said.

Recently during an interview with the Indian Express, Lee had lavished praise on Kohli and had said he would pray before bowling to the Indian run machine.

“First I will pray. There will be a lot of praying going. Please don’t hit me for a six. Virat Kohli is so powerful. He is strong in all parts of the field. He is a 360-degree player. If in One day cricket you have to detain him or make him not score runs, I would probably bowl the wide line Yorker. If he tries to hit me over cover, I will push it wide,”

“He is brilliant on the pitch. He has got that control and aggression. I love the way he plays cricket. I think he is passionate, he doesn’t go over the line and he is the best batsman in the world currently,” he had added

Also Read: (India’s predicted eleven for first Test match against Sri Lanka)

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2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Most Matches Played By A Player In The History Of The Tournament

Ever since its inception in 1998, the ICC Champions Trophy has witnessed some of the biggest cricketing stars featuring in it on a consistent basis.

Originally, all the ICC’s full members took part, and from 2000 to 2004 associate members were also involved. But from 2009 onward, the tournament has only involved the eight highest-ranked ODI teams as of six months prior to the tournament. The past eight editions, nevertheless, have been graced by some big names of modern day cricket.

And now that only a few days are remaining before the ninth edition of the tournament kicks off in England we are taking a look at the players who have played the most never of matches in the Champions Trophy. Interestingly, there is not a single player in the top 20 of this list who will play in the upcoming tournament in England. At the 23rd position, Pakistan’s veteran batsman Shoaib Malik is the highest-ranked player who will be playing in the upcoming tournament.

Former Sri Lanka skippers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara holds the record of most number of matches in Champions Trophy with 22 matches each. Jayawardene, who played in six Champions Trophies, scored 742 runs at an average of 41.22 while Sangakkara, who too featured in a similar number of Champions Trophies, scored 683 runs at an average of 37.94.

Third in the list is also a former Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya. The former opening batsman played 20 matches and scored 536 runs at an average of almost 30. Jayasuriya is followed by former India skipper Rahul Dravid at number four who played 19 matches and scored 627 runs at an impressive average of 48.23.

Player Span Matches
Mahela Jayawardene 2000-2013 22
Kumar Sangakkara 2000-2013 22
Sanath Jayasuriya 1998-2009 20
Rahul Dravid 1998-2009 19

Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting come next on the list with 18 matches each. The batting legends are followed by seven players who played 17 matches each.

 

Player Span Matches
Brian Lara 1998-2006 18
Ricky Ponting 1998-2009 18
Marvan Atapattu 1998-2006 17
Mark Boucher 1998-2009 17
Chris Gayle 2002-2013 17
Jacques Kallis 1998-2009 17
Muttiah Muralitharan 1998-2009 17
Daniel Vettori 1998-2013 17
Shane Watson 2002-2013 17

The above players are then followed by five players who have played 16 matches each and 4 players with 15 games to their name.

 

Player Span Matches
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 1998-2006 16
Brett Lee 2000-2009 16
Ramnaresh Sarwan 2002-2013 16
Sachin Tendulkar 1998-2009 16
Chaminda Vaas 1998-2006 16
Dwayne Bravo 2004-2013 15
Tillakaratne Dilshan 2004-2013 15
Kyle Mills 2002-2013 15
Shoaib Malik 2002-2013 15
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Ashes’ Fate Is In The Hands Of Australian Seamers, says Brett Lee

The Ashes 2013-14, Mitchell Johnson firing in from the bowling end to the English batsman, this was the first time we would have seen England batsman struggling to pace to such extent.

Probably everybody will rate Mitchell Johnson’s performance in that Ashes series as one of the hostile ones in that particular Ashes.

Now the former Australian Pace bowler Brett Lee has said that Australian pace attack with “Once in a generation” bowler Patrick Cummins could prove the difference between two sides in the upcoming Ashes series. The first Test of the Ashes will begin on 23rd of November at Gabba.

Steve Smith’s side having Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood and adding on to that Patrick Cummins will really be a matter of worry for the English side.

According to Brett Lee, his comeback in India was really a kind of booster for Australian side before the all important Ashes. Cummins picked up eight wickets in the final two tests he played in Ranchi and Dharamshala. Brett Lee said,

“What Pat Cummins brings is pace, aggression, control and anything between that. He is once in a generation bowler and you have got to harness that amazing talent”

James Pattinson in the Australian squad can complete their attack, he is coming back from a year long break and in the domestic cricket he did well enough to tell everybody he is still as lethal as he was, could make a pace quadrate against England.

Brett Lee added that the Australians have variety in the pace attack with Mitchell Starc and a superb line length bowler Josh Hazlewood. Cummins can hit the deck and they together complement each other well.

I hope MS Dhoni can get a big one in the next game, Says Brett Lee

MS Dhoni has been under the eye of critics in the recent times. He doesn’t seem to be in his old batting form and opinions down rating him as a T20 cricket player have been flooding since the day he was sacked as captain by his Pune-based franchise – Rising Pune Supergiant. Dhoni was in decent form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. But, the IPL fans are yet to see him smash boundaries and sixes.

Brett Lee, the former Australia fast bowler, however, feels that Dhoni may soon regain be back to his old business given kind of character he is on the field.

Lee simply suggests that Mahi must try to play his natural carefree game to get back among runs.

“We know how good Dhoni is. We wish him well. We know he is a wonderful character and how good he is for the game. I hope he can get a big one in the next game,” said Lee speaking to India Today at the launch of his new cricket venture ‘Bowling Masters’.

“I think MS Dhoni should try and play his natural game. I am not going to sit here and say this is how he should bat because he has been a wonderful player batsman and captain. Just hope he can play his natural game.”

He also felt that the arrival of the young names like Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant shouldn’t be a worrying factor. Giving an example of his own playing days, Lee says that when the competition from the young gun knocks the door, one must train harder to at par to keep a permanent spot in the team.

“That’s good. It’s healthy when you have young guys pushing you. I know when I was playing for Australia and there were young guys coming through bowling 140’s and you know your spot is never guaranteed. But that makes you hungry and train harder.”

Lee also spoke about what he felt about the two best batting talents in the world – Virat Kohli – who is set to make his return to the IPL after a short injury break.

“You want to watch the best play. It’s sad when someone is injured. I wish Kohli well. You want these guys to play. Kohli is a mega star. One of the world’s best.”

Kohli up against his counterpart Smith during the Border-Gavaskar Series but was simply outplayed by the Australian. Lees feels that outscoring Kohli in India was the achievement and a testament to the fact that the Australian skipper is getting better and better regardless of the condition in which he is playing.

“Steve Smith is in the form of his life. He outscoring Kohli was incredible during the test series. We know what Kohli can do and he will be out there to rectify that but Steve Smith keeps getting better and better. He has now got what some 20 Test hundreds? It’s incredible.”

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Brett Lee Spreads Awareness On Hearing Loss

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Fomer Australian pacer Brett Lee, who was appointed as the global brand ambassador of Cochlear, the hearing implant maker, on Tuesday said the early screening of the problem should be made compulsary to avoid any problems.

Hearing impairment is the second most common cause of disability after locomotor disability. As per the 2011 census, India has more than 50 lakh citizens who suffer from some form of hearing loss.

“Around 63 million people in India suffer some form of hearing loss.Parents and family members should not ignore the smallest signs of hearing loss and should take speedy action. Australia has a mandated hearing test for every newborn,” Lee told IANS.

“In India, however, awareness about Universal Newborn Hearing Screening still remains low. I was in Kerala last week and we need to applaud the efforts taken by the State Government in conducting newborn hearing screening in most hospitals.

“There are even looking at a plan to make screening for hearing compulsory in all hospitals. Kerala has set a shining example for us and I would urge the other parts of India to take note and act on this,” he added.

Lee informed that he had a traumatic experience when his son, who was then just five years old, had a fall and fractured a small part of his skull. The injury was close to his ear and led to hearing loss in one ear.

“Fortunately over the next eight months or so, his hearing got back to normal. But those days just made him realize that no one deserves to live in silence,” Lee said.

The 40-year-old said his mission is to spread the awareness of the significant medical, social and economic impact that hearing loss can make on individuals and their families.

Brett Lee, ICC World Cup 2019, England
Lee has been the part of two World Cup-winning squads. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Rise Of Small Teams Important For Making Cricket A Global Game, Says Brett Lee

Australian fast-bowling legend Brett Lee is happy to see lower ranked nations take giant strides in international cricket. While speaking in a recent interview with Malayalam Manorama, Lee was quoted saying the rise of the cricketing nations like Afghanistan and Ireland will greatly benefit the sport in becoming global.

“The rise of Afghanistan and Ireland is important for making cricket a global game. The one lime minnows Bangladesh have now grown up. Ireland is also playing well. Small teams are now doing well,” he said.

With the advent of T20 cricket, cricket has seen rapid changes in its form and nature. The game is not the same as it used to be during the heydays of Lee’s career. The veteran Aussie agrees with the fact and stated cricket like every other thing is subject to change as years pass and it’s better to accept the changes.

“Cricket today is of explosive nature and one has to change accordingly. A bowler has to understand the changes and it is important to deliver according to the situation. Changes are inevitable in any line of work There will be changes in technology, situation and we have to accept those changes and it is only way to move forward.

“Cricket is not immune to changes. Aft the advent of T20, the game has become faster. Things have changed dramatically from the lime I made my debut in 1994. The way bowlers bowl yorkers and All tosses have undergone a lot of changes. The style of balling also has changed,” Lee added.

An interview with Lee cannot be brought to a conclusion with a brief discussion of the art he mastered – fast bowling. According to him, a fast-bowler is a work in progress right from the first day on the cricket field until the day of retirement.

“My attempt was always to improve my bowling action from the first delivery I bowled in my debut match to the last delivery I bowled on my farewell match, said the mercurial fast bowler.

“It is natural to get injured when you bowl fast. When you bowl you can get injured in the elbow, shoulder, neck… and as a fast bowler there is a chance of getting injured after every delivery.

“There is no point in giving rest to bowlers for a long lime. What they need is proper exercise and practice. But the trend today is that lots of players give more importance to gym work it is not a good habit. What is important is not lifting zooid in the gym but doing it properly is more important,” Lee concluded.

Nathan Lyon has taken 58 wickets against India in Tests now, most by any Australian bowler in history.

Stats: Nathan Lyon Outnumber Australian Legends To Bag Top Spot

Australian spinner Nathan Lyon has eclipsed likes of Richie Benaud, Glenn McGrath and even Brett Lee to top a unique list of records. Playing against India in Bengaluru, Lyon scripted history by becoming the most successful Australian bowler against India as picked up his career best figures of 8/50 and also recorded a tally of 58 wickets against the sub-continent giants in Test history.

Just as India appeared to have overcome O’Keefe’s fiasco, came in the off-spinner and ripped apart the batting line-up to haunt them again. His figures not only grade him up the ladder but also landed him in the index of greats to have toured India ever.

Remembering Lyon’s spell in Delhi in 2013, where he registered 7/94 (his best figures then), he bettered his own record against the same country, and too with some domination.

Seemingly, he was missing the spotlight in the Pune Test but didn’t fail to leave an impression this time around. From captain Virat Kohli to KL Rahul, the offie trapped everyone in his net and flourished on a wicket and that was not going to assist the spinners on day one, at least.

Crossing the likes of Brett Lee, who was known to dismantle any batting line-up with his blazing pace, must have been a terrific feeling for the offie. Lee who grabbed 53 wickets is second in the list while legendary all-rounder Richie Benaud stands third with 52 scalps in eight matches.

List of Australian Players with the most number of wickets against India in Test:

1. Nathan Lyon – 58 wickets in 12* matches

2. Brett Lee – 53 wickets in 12 matches

3. Richie Benaud –  52 wickets in 8 matches

4. Glenn McGrath – 51 wickets in 11 matches

5. Mitchell Johnson – 50 wickets in 11 matches

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Pick Pat Cummins For Australia’s Tour Of India: Brett Lee

Former Australian fast-bowling sensation Brett Lee has urged Australian selectors not to dictate terms, but include the young gun Pat Cummins for Australian Test squad which is touring India in February.

“Absolutely in my opinion. Whether they will or not, there’s a lot of red flagging going on about players being on the cusp of getting injured,” said Lee, quoted as saying by news.com.au.

Lee stressed that it’s the perfect time to unleash the fascinating fast bowlers, who are coming through the domestic circuit for the national side.

“I’m sick of reading about that, to be honest. If they’re not prepared to play him take him in the team, let him bowl in the nets and just bowl and bowl and bowl, Lee added, is going to be the part of Triple M’s [radio brand] commentary panel.

In November 2011, at the age of just 18 – Cummins played his only Test against South Africa with the impressive figures of 7-117 on his debut.

To the utter surprise, he didn’t get a Test match after that which is sad on the part of performance and Test cricket as well.

“Just get him in that mix again where he’s confident and he knows his body and he’s bowling under duress. You can’t just go from a Shield match or one first-grade game and expect to just go and play Test cricket. You need to keep playing a lot of cricket,” Lee added.

CA selectors are planning to let Cummins spearhead fast-bowling attack for Australia’s Ashes series against England in 2017-18

Staying away from the Test cricket for five long years Pat Cummins may find it difficult in the subcontinent to send down the longer spells but might learn the vital lessons, if he earns a call for the Indian tour.

Lee is hopeful that New South Wales trio which includes Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood’s combination with all the variations at disposal would be fruitful against India other than spinners, who normally rule the rest on sub-continent wickets.

“With those three back in the mix, we’re spoilt for talent, aren’t we. Bowling in India you need a few things. Firstly you need patience and secondly you need to know your game better than anyone, including your captain,” Lee concluded.

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Brett Lee praises Virat Kohli, gives his thoughts on India-New Zealand series

India will take on New Zealand in three Test series in the upcoming home season. After that, India will play Test series against England and Australia and play total 13 matches.

Before the Test series against New Zealand begins, former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee heaped praise on India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli.

“It will be an amazing contest. It will be a test of character and strength to play 13 Tests for Indian cricketers. India can achieve greatness, Virat Kohli will change the structure of the team, he will rub off his qualities on his colleagues. It’s a well balanced team. Kohli is a great leader, the team respects him,” Lee said.

Indian bowling will play the key role in Test series. “The Indian batting line-up is all sorted out, but the bowling is going to be the key in this season. The bowlers will be the ones who will win the series for India,” Lee told.

Lee also said that he always found the Indian conditions to be the toughest to play in. “For me personally, India has been the toughest place to play cricket in. If you can manage to win a series here (India), then you have achieved greatness. I’m guessing Steve Smith shares the same thought. The Ashes is a different experience, but conquering India is everything for a foreign player,” he said.

“Australia versus India is one of the most important series, Ashes is also big. If they can do well in India they will go back with a lot of satisfaction. It’s an opportunity for Kohli, (Joe) Root, (Kane) Williamson and (Steve) Smith to showcase their skills,” he added.

Brett Lee, ICC World Cup 2019, England
Lee has been the part of two World Cup-winning squads. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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India will be too strong for New Zealand: Brett Lee

New Delhi, Sep 20 (IANS) Former Australia pace spearhead Brett Lee feels India will be too strong a challenge for New Zealand when the two sides lock horns in the upcoming three-match Test cricket rubber, starting with the first match on September 22 in Kanpur.

Hailing India’s Test side as “well-balanced”, the 39-year-old said India seriously looks to be the superior side on paper with a strong batting line-up.

“I think India will be too strong for New Zealand. India has got a lot of options in the batting order. It’s a power-packed one, you got Shikhar (Dhawan) putting his hand up after losing his opportunity,” Lee told IANS on the sidelines of a panel discussion on the India-New Zealand series also featuring former India greats Kapil Dev and V.V.S. Laxman.

“They got a serious bowling line-up as well. I think they are a well-balanced side.”

The cricketer-turned-commentator also congratulated India, who will feature in their 500th Test, when the Virat Kohli-led side takes on the Kiwis in the first match at the Green Park stadium.

“It’s a great honour for India to play 500 Test matches. It’s going to be terrific series featuring three Test matches against New Zealand. I feel it’s really going to be an exciting one,” he said.

After the series against New Zealand, India have a long Test season at home with England playing five Tests at the end of the year besides a solitary match against Bangladesh followed by another four against Australia in the new year.

As part of its preparations for the Ashes series and the tour to the subcontinent, Cricket Australia (CA) recently appointed Englishman Graeme Hick as the national team’s specialist batting coach which Lee feels may potentially work out in their favour while facing India.

“Yes it could work. Potentially it may help Australia — I just think it all comes down to the individual player. It is obviously great to have mentors, coaches and support staff but at the end of the day they are going to play on the cricket field.”

Lee also had a piece of advice for the young Australian side led by Steve Smith, when they travel to the country, where the Kangaroos were thrashed 0-4 in the 2013 February-March Test series.

“One thing where Australian cricketers have improved is working on the ball and understanding the science behind the reverse swing. We all know there is a right or wrong way to do it and Australian cricketers now know that reverse swing in India is the key,” he said.

Lee, who has played for various T20 leagues across the world, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), credited the cash-rich IPL for helping Australian cricketers better understand subcontinental conditions.

“Playing in the IPL definitely helped the Australians get accustomed to the Indian conditions when they play for the national side. It’s because they still play in the low and slow wickets during the IPL,” Lee, who took 310 wickets in 76 Tests, said.

“It’s one of those things that the more you play cricket here the better you become. If they wouldn’t have played here over the years it’s definitely going to affect their results.”

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