Brett Lee’s Test career

Brett Lee cautiously makes an enquiry

Like Andrew Flintoff, Brett Lee’s had to jack in proper cricket because his body’s had it. Fast bowling’s a mug’s game, but anyone who’s seen our Too Cool mug or our robot mug knows that we love mugs.

In many ways, Brett Lee was the perfect Australian fast bowler. He was a proper, 96mph, charge-to-the-crease, rip-your-shoulder-out-of-its-socket fast bowler who was stunning to watch, yet when he played England he barely took any wickets. Perfect.

Quick bit of stats – skip this if you want

He took more Test wickets against England than against anyone else bar the Windies, but he took them at an average of 40, which is toss. In England, he averaged 45 and went at over four an over. England fans could watch his electric bowling and yet be comforted by the fact that their side were cracking on at pace.

How fast was Brett Lee?

Yeah, past tense. He might still be available for one-day internationals and Twenty20s, but when you stop playing Tests you’ve already got one foot in a slipper and you’re reaching for the RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening.

Brett Lee was proper fast. He generally bowled around 94mph/150kph and the key part is that he maintained this. He wasn’t a bowler who put in the odd surprisingly quick ball. He wasn’t a bowler who got over 90mph on a good day. He pounded in and on a good day he was heading up towards 100mph. He crossed that line where batsmen go from worrying whether they can react quickly enough to outright shitting themselves.

10/10 for effort

We can’t imagine how much it must have hurt. Not just when he was bowling, but when he was 32 and trying to come back and bowl as quickly as he ever did. Fast bowlers are cussed bastards.

That cussedness showed in his batting as well. It’s easy to overlook, but he played as big a part as anyone in the creation of the greatest passage of cricket that we can remember – the climax to the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test. In getting tenderised like cheap meat by Andrew Flintoff, he showed that he could get as good as he gave, but nothing would sway him from his impossible task. It was as impressive an innings as we’ve ever seen; the mental fortitude better highlighted by his limitations as a batsman.

Whatever the result of that match – no matter how England supporters fetishise that climactic moment – that morning showed why Test match cricket is the greatest sport on earth and we have to thank Brett Lee for that.

Probably not one of Brettles' favourite moments

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11 Appeals

  1. You can shoot me for posting off topic, but Tendulkar is the greatest One Day player of all time.

  2. I love that Sachin’s in the picture.

  3. Any bowler with an average of 40+ against England cannot be that special, by definition.

    And who could forget his propensity to send down the odd “accidental” beamer when it *really* mattered?

  4. I saw Brett Lee bowling last summer in the Lions warm up at Worcester.

    We could tell he was bowling fast – but live you can never really tell quite how quick it is. Came home and it turned out he was bowling at about 97/8mph – big inswingers for 15 overs in 35 degree heat.

    And he was only on because he got bollocked by Ponting for pissing around with the crowd.

    Best spell of fast bowling I’ve ever seen. Quality

  5. Poor old Brett. This really ought to be the news of the day, but Sachin had to go and upstage him. Well, I’m certainly not going to mention Sachin. Comments on this post shouldn’t be about Sachin, they should be about that other guy who isn’t Sachin, and all the good work he did against batsmen who aren’t Sachin, and also occasionally against Sachin himself.

    Top work, not-Sachin.

  6. Sachin is a useless bowler.

    This is a useless post for an great bowler. He also bowled the second-fastest ball ever in 2003

    Fuck you Ged, too.

    and Fuck you KC for a shit-arse post on one of the nicest and fastest bowlers ever. Just because he didn’t bowl well much against some nobody team called England, doesn’t mean he wasn’t better than the past decade of Pom trundlers (which is all your lot are) combined.

    Typical derogatory post from a third-rate cricketing country.

  7. Sachin is a useless bowler.

    This is a useless post for an great bowler. He also bowled the second-fastest ball ever in 2003

    Fuck you Ged, too.

    and Fuck you KC for a shit-arse post on one of the nicest and fastest bowlers ever. Just because he didn’t bowl well much against some nobody team called England, doesn’t mean he wasn’t better than the past decade of Pom trundlers (which is all your lot are) combined.

    Typical derogatory post from a third-rate cricketing country.

  8. How do I get my Posts on twice?

  9. How do I get my Posts on twice??

  10. King Cricket

    February 25, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Somewhere between saying that we loved Brett Lee in our second sentence and saying he was responsible for the finest passage of play we’ve ever seen, we omitted the fact that we thought he was a great bowler too.

    We kind of took it as a given that you’d all know we thought he was a good bowler, but wouldn’t know that we were never worried about him when he played against England.

    Anon a mouse, it’s not derogatory. We’re just being honest and as we’re English, it was easier to like Brett Lee because of his mediocre Ashes performances. Read a couple of the ‘similar deliveries’ below if you don’t believe that we thought a lot of him.

  11. I saw Lee in 2007 when he was the best bowler in the world. He was a sight to watch and he even got the wicket of he who shut critics up temporarily yesterday.

    He was quick, he was intimidating, he was a menace but he was also blonde. Zaheer Khan hit him straight down the ground for a six after one of those “accidental” beamers.

    Cheers to a great test career!

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