Lee hopes to attain peak speed in mid-30s

November 18th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 18 (IANS) Fast bowlers are generally on the downswing after they cross 30, but Australian pace spearhead Brett Lee feels that he would reach his peak speed in mid-30s.Lee had a woeful series in India but that doesn’t seem to have any effect on his confidence. The fast bowler, who turned 32 last week, believes his strength and fitness levels are such that he would bowl faster throughout an age bracket in which pacers slow down or retire.

“I might have just turned 32, but I feel like I’m 26 or 27. I always try to be the fittest player in the side, and there’s a lot of stuff I go through on a day-to-day basis to get to that point,” Lee was quoted as saying by The Age.

Only four Australian pacers have bowled past 35, and all were on decline by that stage of their careers.

“As any track and field athlete will tell you, the best sprinters can hit their peak between the ages of 34 and 35, and I see no reason why it can’t be the same for fast bowlers with the right training. I see no reason why I can’t bowl faster,” said Lee, who is just three wickets short of becoming the third Australian to cross the 300-mark in Tests.

With the two-Test series against New Zealand starting in Brisbane Thursday, the focus will be on Lee and Stuart Clark. Both the fast bowlers struggled during the India series, which Australia lost 0-2.

Lee, who overcame a bout of food poisoning, is approaching full fitness and believes that return to form is imminent.

“I’ve had two games that I would call ordinary in the past 18 months. I have to remind myself that I’m coming off winning the Allan Border medal and I’ve had two lousy games since then. I’m not going to get too down on myself.”

“There’s been a lot written and said about my preparation for the first two games (in India), but I was really happy with the way I bowled in the third game.

“The first two were not up to speed, as the results show, but I was happy with the third game, and then unfortunately I got ill between the third and the fourth, which didn’t help,” he said.

“It’s hard to look at the results, and I know I didn’t have the greatest series, but deep down I know it wasn’t as bad as some people have made out.”

Lee said his 300th wicket would be a cherished moment.

“If someone mentions to me that I am approaching 300 Test wickets, then of course it’s something I’m very proud of. I’m very proud of that. It proves that I’ve had longevity in the game, which is a big thing for a fast bowler. I’ll be in my 10th year (of international cricket) next year,” he said.

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