Lee calls for fear factor

28 August 2013

Brett Lee

Renowned speedster Brett Lee wants the fear factor back in the Australian cricket attack and has called for Mitchell Johnson to return to the Test lineup.

Lee, who frequently sent the speed gauge soaring into the 150km region in his prime, wants to see the likes of Johnson and injury-prone Pat Cummins, when fit, add some genuine pace to the Test battery.

The 36-year-old former NSW paceman, who will play Twenty20 in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Sixers this summer, felt the Australian attack in England had performed well but lacked variety.

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"Its obviously been a disappointing series for the Australians, I think pace-wise we've done pretty well," said Lee, who played 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20 internationals.

"The only negative thing you can probably draw upon, and listening to the commentary team over there, was that Australia chose all the same type of bowler.

"I want to see a Pat Cummins come in, I want to see Mitchell Johnson back."

Cummins is expected to miss most of the 2013-14 season with a back issue, while left-arm quick Johnson is part of the Australian one-day team in England.

Lee was impressed by.the sometime erratic Johnson during the Indian Premier League earlier this year when he was the joint third-highest wicket-taker.

He felt Johnson should have played in the Ashes series.

"I was surprised that Mitchell Johnson didn't get the opportunity and that's nothing against the guys that went over, they all warranted their spot," Lee said.

"Get some pace in, get some pace back in the Australian team. Get some sort of fear factor going.

"130 kms seam up is good. You need that.. (Glenn McGrath) did that (and took) 563 Test wickets.

"He proved that you don't have to bowl quick to take wickets, however, you need that right blend."

Swimming against the tide of opinion, Lee insists Twenty20 is not hurting Test cricket.

"I'll go the other way and say it's actually improved Test cricket," Lee said.

"It gave a guy like Steve Smith, the opportunity through the Indian Premier League to put his name back up in lights.

"He went on the path where he was sliding down that slippery pole there for a while, went over to the Indian Premier League and had a cracker of a season.

"Then he's back playing for the Australian cricket team and he's back playing Test cricket and scoring a beautiful hundred."

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