Ponting asks Lee to add pace

October 24th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 24 (IANS) Australia’s bowling spearhead Brett Lee will be following a rigorous training regimen to generate more pace in the third Test starting in Delhi Wednesday.Captain Ricky Ponting has made it clear that Australia needs Lee at his dynamic best for the last two matches, or else he will have to fit in some other role.

“He’s been a bit underdone. He’s been bowling a bit at half and three-quarters pace at training, concentrating on his technique trying to do everything right,” Ponting was quoted as saying in The Australian.

“By doing that he’s probably taught himself to bowl slow. For the next week, he’ll be doing that dynamic stuff. When he bowls at training he’ll be bowling off his long run to train that back into his body again.”

Australia’s over-reliance on a four-pronged pace attack has come a cropper in India so far and Lee has been the biggest disappointment.

Lee missed a month of training before the Indian tour as he coped with his marriage break-up which is also seen as a major reason for his failure. He has taken just four wickets in the first two Tests.

Lee will be working on a special programme of weights, running and bowling to regain his lost speed to spruce up their fast bowling attack in Delhi Test.

The team’s fitness adviser Stuart Karppinen, a former West Australian fast bowler has devised a programme that will see Lee do 11 varied sessions in the week. That includes quick, light upper-body weights and heavier lower-body weights. During special bowling sessions, there will be extended recovery between balls so Lee can focus on fast, high-quality deliveries.

“He’s at 95 per cent and bowling in the mid-140s (km/h) but we want him to be able to crank that up. He’s lost speed and condition. We want to mimic the movements that happen when he bowls,” Karppinen said.

This tour has been a major aberration for Lee, who in the three previous Test series since Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne retired, has led the attack magnificently.

Ponting claims that if Lee cannot return to his best, a different role may have to be found for him.

“He’s has led the attack brilliantly in the last 12 or 18 months. The rest of our bowling attack really fits in around him. We need him back and bowling well to be in with a chance of winning this series,” said Ponting.

“If he can’t bowl express, he’ll have to play another role for us. If you look at his spells in the game, it’s probably been his first-up spell that’s been his worst. When he’s come back he’s settled into a line and length,” he added.

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