Ashes 2015: Australia need to wake up - and fast, says Brett Lee

Publish Date : 2021-03-30


Ashes 2015: Australia need to wake up - and fast, says Brett Lee

England took a 1-0 lead in the 2015 Ashes series with a commanding all-round performance in the first Test at Cardiff where they won by 169 runs with a day to spare.

Lee, one of Australia's greatest-ever fast bowlers, said that came as a shock to the system -- but warned England things would be different in the second Test at Lords, which begins Thursday.

'First and foremost, the talk of the town back in Australia was that Australia will go over to England, they'll dominate, they'll beat England, they'll smash them, it'll be a whitewash,' he told CNN's Amanda Davies.



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'But I always said I didn't think it was going to be like that. England have been getting some momentum, and I'm not surprised that they won at Cardiff.

'We need Australia -- and I say 'we' as an Australian -- to bounce back, so fingers crossed we can make that happen.

'Australia are 1-0 down -- but it's going to be a different story this week.'

Lee, who retired from playing at the start of the year, said what happened in the Welsh capital showed Australia 'should never assume they are going to roll England out of the game.'

But he believes playing at Lords, the spiritual home of cricket, will inspire his compatriots.

'I know the Australian team will be so excited to play there, as I always was,' he added. 'They will be ready to go.'

Lee, speaking as Global Hearing Ambassador for Cochlear, paid tribute to the quality of England's performance in the first Test, saying: 'You have to give credit where credit is due. England played extremely well.'

He singled out star English batsman Joe Root for his 'fantastic form' but played down comments by former international teammate Jason Gillespie that the Australians' older average age would count against them.

'I've always said I don't really care how old a person is as long as they can do the business,' he explained.

'Whether they are 18 or 38 years of age, I still believe experience counts for so much.

'But when you have young guys stepping up to the plate -- Mark Wood, Joe Root -- saying: 'We're not scared of Australian players,' the game is changing.

'It's great to have youth -- but I still think experience is important, and Australian captain Michael Clarke [who is 34] has a wealth of experience.

'He is tactically a very, very sound captain. He is proactive and can make the game move in the direction he wants to take it.'

Whatever happens at Lords -- and throughout the remainder of the five-match series -- Lee stressed that, for all the intensity of one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in world sport, the game would always be played in the right spirit.

In the epic 2005 Ashes series, England won by two runs in the second Test at Edgbaston despite a brave batting performance from Lee, who withstood a barrage of fearsome deliveries from Andrew Flintoff.

At the end of the game, the England man was the first to console Lee, who recalled: 'He was trying to kill me out there for about for four hours -- but five minutes after that game had finished we were in the changing room having a nice cold beer, chatting about what happened.

'It's not always what you think out there with the sledging [verbal intimidation] and things. Of course it's hard, tough Test cricket, but that was one of my proudest moments... [it was about] the spirit of cricket, and that's certainly what's going to happen in this next Test as well.'

So what makes this rivalry so special? For Lee, it's simple.

'It's the love-hate thing that we have with England,' he said. 'We always make out that we're the big Australian tough boys and we hate England -- but that's not always the way.'

Lee, one of Australia's greatest-ever fast bowlers, said that came as a shock to the system -- but warned England things would be different in the second Test at Lords, which begins Thursday. 'I know the Australian team will be so excited to play there, as I always was,' he added. 'They will be ready to go.' 'It's great to have youth -- but I still think experience is important, and Australian captain Michael Clarke [who is 34] has a wealth of experience. 'It's not always what you think out there with the sledging [verbal intimidation] and things. Of course it's hard, tough Test cricket, but that was one of my proudest moments... [it was about] the spirit of cricket, and that's certainly what's going to happen in this next Test as well.' 'He is tactically a very, very sound captain. He is proactive and can make the game move in the direction he wants to take it.' Whatever happens at Lords -- and throughout the remainder of the five-match series -- Lee stressed that, for all the intensity of one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in world sport, the game would always be played in the right spirit.

#newsupdatenow



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