Pace ace backs former teammate as injuries bite Australian team hard.
Brett Lee has called for Cricket Australia selectors to throw Mitchell Johnson a Test lifeline in the wake of the injury toll gripping the national side.
James Pattinson is suffering from stress fractures in his back while Ryan Harris, who was easily Australia’s best in a losing series with 24 wickets, was diagnosed with a hamstring strain and will be out for six to eight weeks.
It’s these factors plus a lack of variety according to Lee that leads him to believe Johnson deserves another crack at Test cricket.
“I want to see a Pat Cummins come in, I want to see Mitchell Johnson back,” Lee said.
“I was surprised that Mitchell Johnson didn’t get the opportunity. That’s nothing against the guys that went over, they all warranted their spots.
“But someone like Mitchell Johnson, who was bowling 150km outswingers in the Indian Premier League and one of the highest wicket takers. Pat Cummins when he’s fit, and he will be fit.”
Peter Siddle was one of Australia’s better bowlers early in the recent Ashes series, with the Victorian able to squeeze as much pace out of the English pitches as possible.
It’s that mentality Lee would also like to see more of As Australia tries to assemble an attack that will again be able to take 20 English wickets during the return Ashes series starting in November.
“Get some pace back into the Australian team – get some of the fear factor going,” Lee said.
“That’s what cricket’s about. People want to see bowlers bowling at 150km/h. People want to see batsmen play that pull shot off the nose. 130km/h seam-up is good.
“Glenn McGrath did that for 563 Test wickets so he proved you don’t have to bowl quick to take wickets. However, I think you need the right blend and the injection of those two guys would really help.”