Former Australia pacer Brett Lee is against the whole concept of workload management for fast bowlers, something that has become a trend amid a packed international calendar.
Besides the hectic schedule, bubble life amid the COVID-19 pandemic has also taken a toll on cricketers, forcing them to switch off from the game.
“I’m against the whole resting rule. I don’t like bowlers resting, I like bowlers to play each and every single game,” Lee told PTI in an exclusive interaction on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket here.
Mohammad Shami did not play the white ball series against South Africa in which India were routed 0-3 by an under-strength South Africa.
The selectors have also “rested” the Indian pace duo of Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for the upcoming home series against the West Indies, featuring three ODIs and three T20Is.
But the former Aussie speed gun maintained his stance and said a pacer should be rested only if he has a niggle.
“If they are struggling with an injury then it’s fair enough. But what I want to see is pace bowlers, doing all the hard work and playing day in and day out.”
Talking about India’s shocking Test defeat in South Africa, Lee felt it must have been an aberration as it was the same side who beat Australia in Australia and then took the upper hand against England to lead 2-1.
“Look, it happens sometimes. They have been playing some pretty good cricket. The way they played in Australia, beating them on home soil, and then in England…
“Australia are currently right up there, the number one side in the world. But India have been a very good Test side. It was one of those things that South Africa played a really amazing series on their home soil,” he said.
The back-to-back Test and ODI series losses in South Africa came on the backdrop of the controversy of Virat Kohli quitting captaincy from all formats and his war of words with the BCCI.
Asked whether India suffered because of the off-the-field controversy, Lee chose to stay quiet on the issue.
All praise for Cummins the captain
Recently Australia pace spearhead Pat Cummins captained his team to a 4-0 win in the Ashes, seeing off a rocky transition phase after Tim Paine stepped down following a “sexting scandal”.
Cummins was the first Australia fast bowler to be named captain since Ray Lindwall led them in one Test against India in 1956 as a stand-in skipper.
“We won 4-0? I think he has done a pretty good job. I think his captaincy has been really, really solid and he was supported by some great people around him,” the 45-year-old said of Cummins.
“The issue may have been will Pat Cummins be able to take wickets once he’s captain. He has proven he can do that. So I was really happy for him.”
Luxury to have big pool of fast bowlers in Aussie cricket
Lee was also all praise for their Scott Boland who had a great start to his Test career.
The 32-year-old took 18 wickets in three Ashes games at an average of just 9.55 which included a 6/7 on debut in the Boxing Day Test.
“The great thing about the Australian cricket team is there’s a conveyor belt of fast bowlers which is a luxury to have. The Aussies are really playing some pretty good cricket,” Lee signed off.