Ashes 2009: Nielsen Gives Lee Hope

Ashes 2009: Nielsen Gives Lee Hope
Ashes 2009: Nielsen Gives Lee Hope
©Action Images / Lee Smith Livepic

Brett Lee’s chances of being selected in the final Ashes Test match have been given a boost after coach Tim Nielsen has hinted that Lee could have a good chance of playing a part in the match.

Lee has impressed in his performances on the tour but has missed every Test match so far due to a side strain that he picked up in the tour game against the England Lions earlier in the summer. However, Lee took three wickets against the Lions in their two day match at Canterbury this weekend and has bowled himself into contention for selection. Nielsen said:

“As long as he's fit and the conditions suit, he'll very much come into contention to play.”

Judging by the matches that have played at the Oval this year, the pitch is likely to be a fast and bouncy wicket which will be very dry. With this in mind, Australia may think about utilizing Brett Lee’s ability to reverse swing the ball at a ground that is heavily weighted in favour of batsmen. Nielsen added:

“Historically, it's a drier surface that does bounce and carry a bit, and those sort of conditions can help the ball get scuffed up, which everyone knows it can reverse.

“When that's happening, Brett is as good an exponent of that as anyone in the world.”

Meanwhile, Australia have called up Tim Paine to the squad as back up for Brad Haddin and Graham Manou, who are both suffering from hand injuries. This is, however, purely a precautionary measure as Haddin, who missed the Edgbaston Test match due to his injury, is expected to be fully fit for the deciding game.

© Cricket World 2009