YOUNGSTERS WHO HAVEN’T GOT A CHANCE NEED TO PRACTISE HARDER, SAYS PACE LEGEND LEE
Former Australian fast bowler and commentator of the India Cements TN Premier League, Brett Lee, spoke exclusively to the tournament’s website on Thursday on fast bowling, adapting to different formats of the game, and trips to the districts of Tamil Nadu. Excerpts from the interview:
On his thoughts on the tournament
I think it has been outstanding as the talent has been tremendous. Obviously, I didn’t know what to expect (from the tournament), but I have been very surprised with the emerging talent. It is a great platform for youngsters and is similar to the Big Bash League – a tournament which unleashes so many talents. All of a sudden, you have so many players, who have been performing well, have not played with the white ball, and have not played under lights. So, it’s exciting, challenging, for the young kids.
On those players who have caught the eye
That’s easy to say because the ones on the top have been impressive. Jagadeesan has scored a lot of runs, and I am also proud of Ruby Kanchi Warriors, as they were superb despite not making it to the play-offs. (Baba) Aparajith – the third-highest run-getter (in the tournament) – is good. But, what I have enjoyed the most is watching the fast bowlers.
Antony (Dhas) is one good bowler, and he even got 4 for 9, the other night. I also like Ashwath (Mukunthan), who took 5 for 17, and there is (Lakshmipathy) Balaji – a superstar. He has always been around and I remember playing against him in the early 2000s, in Australia, in Sydney. I think it was in 2006 that we played at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) – a good ten years ago, and his experience matters. He came, picked up 5 for 18, and these are the three bowlers that have impressed me.
On the importance of fitness and ability of adapt to different formats as a fast bowler
I think it is important to understand the formats well. In T20s, you bowl four overs in a game, so you will have to practice bowling at least six overs in the nets. If you need to bowl 15 to 20 overs in a day (in Tests), then you’d need to increase the net-bowling time. I think the more the workload, the better. They would now have to find a way to leave T20s behind before the Ranji Trophy – a totally different format.
On his advice to youngsters who have not got a game yet in the tournament
Keep practising! The feedback from the players is that they have been enjoying the tournament. Of course, Star Sports makes them known across the world, the players get to play in front of big crowds, and under lights. Former international cricketers are watching them, commentating about them, so it’s a very good opportunity.
On his trips around the districts of Tamil Nadu
I have loved it! I learnt a little bit of Tamil – Vanakkam, Machaan, Machi. It has been really good, we have thoroughly enjoyed everything, be it visiting the temples or doing the commentary. Today, we are going to the beaches (Kanyakumari) to do a little bit of shooting. It hasn’t been a cricket commentary trip, but then it has been life-changing.
On whether he will act in a Tamil movie
Wait and see!