Lee confident of crossing 400-wicket mark in Tests

January 7th, 2009 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 7 (IANS) Recovering from ankle surgery, Brett Lee feels that he can’t take the workload he took last year but he is confident of crossing the 400-wicket milestone in Tests.The year 2008 has been stressful for Lee. He bowled more than 4,500 deliveries for Australia, New South Wales and the King’s XI Punjab last year. In all he bowled 580.1 overs. Lee has 310 Test wickets.

“I was blown away with the amount of overs I bowled in 2008. You don’t really look at it as a whole when you’re bowling, but when you step back and look at the stats it’s obviously a lot,” Lee was quoted as saying by The Age.

“I think 2008 has been a unique year. I have certainly bowled a lot of overs. I think if you were constantly bowling 580 overs in a season and you’re being asked to bowl 150 km/h, it’s going to put a lot of stress on the body. It’s a difficult job, but I have been asking for the overs. I just figure if you’re bowling a lot of overs, it means your team has confidence in you to do the job,” he added.

The 32-year-old Lee returned to upper-body training Wednesday and will remain on crutches for another fortnight. He will wear a moon boot for another four-to-six weeks.

“I’m only 32 and I want to play at least another three years … I’d like to cross off 400 Test wickets,” he said.

In the series against South Africa, Lee put on a brave face while he was battling an energy-sapping illness. The giardia bug Lee contracted in India resulted in him losing weight and lacking strength throughout the Australian summer.

Then came the injury on the left foot and he underwent an ankle surgery here Saturday. He has been ruled out of Australia’s tour to South Africa and will be out of cricket till April.

“This is an opportunity for me to get my health back to 100 percent. It’s only been in the last three or four days that I have started to feel normal again. I have just had no strength at all this summer. I’d be OK in the first spell, because the adrenaline’s going and you’ve got the brand new ball in your hand, but then I would find that I just had nothing to give later in the day.

“Now I’ve got the chance to get right, get the kilos back up and come back fresh. I guess I’ve been behind the eight-ball since India. I didn’t have the greatest of preparations there and I’ve probably been chasing my tail ever since. It’s been a difficult year, but maybe it’s a good thing to listen to your body when it’s telling you to slow down,” he said.

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