A pat from the captain


Although happy with his display, Brett Lee played down comparisons with the now retired Glenn McGrath, writes Julian Linden.

Australia’s captain, Ricky Ponting, paid tribute to Brett Lee’s growing maturity after the paceman bowled them to a 96-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Hobart.

Lee took four wickets in each of Sri Lanka innings as Australia wrapped up a 2-0 series success. Set 507 runs to win, the tourists were always chasing the game and, despite a magnificent 192 from Kumar Sangakkara, were eventually dismissed for 410 with Lee the focal point.

Ponting said: “The more you play the smarter you become and that is where it is with Brett at the moment. He knows if he bowls enough balls in the right area and uses his skills — which are great pace, a great bouncer and some good outswingers with the new ball — then he will keep the batsman under pressure and give himself the best chance of taking wickets.

“That is what Glenn McGrath did over the years — he didn’t do anything special, he just got the ball in the right area and built enough pressure to force the batsman to play a bad shot.”

Although happy with his display, Lee played down comparisons with the now retired McGrath. “They are massive shoes to fill,” he said. “I will never try to fill Glenn’s shoes. We are different bowlers and all I can do is try and lead the Australian attack as best as I possibly can.”

© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2007