Ex-Aussie pacer Brett Lee has praised Virat Kohli calling him “the world's best batsman currently” and accepted that he would have been mauled if he bowled to the Indian skipper. The pacer was also full of praise for Jasprit Bumrah and hoped he made minor adjustments to further increase his pace.
Speaking about Virat Kohli, Brett Lee said, “He is the world's best batsman currently. I love the way he plays and his aggression. His aggression is in your face but it's not over the top. Rather, it's controlled. He's very passionate and always puts his team first. His technique is incredible. If you look back a couple of years, you would say that a fourth or fifth stump ball might get him fishing and that's how you get him out. But now, he's checked that and that ball no longer gets him out. He's tightened his technique, his stance is upright and he's playing with total freedom,” in an exclusive to TNN.
Asked if Virat Kohli would have hit him all over the park if he bowled to the Indian talisman, Lee said, “Given the kind of form he is in, probably yes.”
Lee was also all praise for young pacer Jasprit Bumrah who has burst on to the scene in the past year or so. Lee also pointed to room for improvement and said Bumrah needs to get his front arm action right to garner even more pace.
“India now have a good pace attack. Earlier, there used to be Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma. But now, they do have some good variety in Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. But I am really fond of Jasprit Bumrah. Yes, his action is different. I feel he can definitely become a lot faster if he can fix his front arm. But then, that works for him. So you wouldn't get a lot of bowlers who would copy his action. His action is as unique as Jeff Thomson's, a bit like a wound-up spring. But then I am impressed with the way he bowls. He's got good pace and I like his aggression,” said Lee.
However, the conversation inevitably shifted to Australia's miserable show in the Sri Lanka series. In the Test series, the visitors were blanked by the Sri Lankan team which had just returned from a terrible England tour.
“We don't have enough experienced players to handle spin on these turners. When it comes to shot selection against spin, you need to be smart. Overseas batsmen who have flourished in subcontinent conditions have always used their feet very well against spinners. So, maybe, our batsmen need to use their feet quicker,” Lee opined when talking about the nation's spin issues.
He managed to find some light at the end of the tunnel though and said Mitchell Starc, who was the only Australian to show some spine in the Sri Lanka series, has been “absolutely brilliant”. Lee also had some advice for Starc asking to bowl with the same freedom that he enjoys in the Test format.
“He's done well in ODIs and T20s because of his ability to swing the white ball and generate a lot of pace. He's also got a great yorker. I want to see Starc take that form, aggression and control into Test cricket. Bowlers often get confused whether to bowl the same line and length that they bowl in limited-overs in Tests too. For me, it's always been the same with different colour changes in the ball. A yorker in Tests is as good as a yorker in T20s. A good length ball can induce a nick in all formats. So I want Starc to go out there and bowl with the same freedom in Tests like the way he has done in limited overs,” Lee said.