BRETT LEE, one of cricket’s all-time fastest bowlers, has offered to help teen sensation Pat Cummins ”clean up” his action to help to prevent the injuries frustrating his burgeoning career.
Cummins, who at just 18 took seven wickets in his Test debut against South Africa last November, will miss his second consecutive summer of cricket after scans revealed on Friday he had suffered a stress fracture in his back during the Sydney Sixers’ recent T20 Champions League triumph.
It was a devastating blow but Lee, who endured similar injury battles when he was Cummins’s age, said he had the experience to help the 19-year-old from Penrith fulfil his potential.
”I’m not saying in any way, shape or form that Pat needs to change his action,” Lee said. ”But there are some things I reckon I could help him with [such as how] to clean his action up to make it a little bit easier on his back.
”The one thing you don’t want as a fast bowler is hyper-extension and counter-rotation [like] he has [and] as I did when I was at the same age … I had that same set-up where there was a lot of twisting and turning in my action, which is where you get your pace from, but it does come at a cost.”
Lee, who retired from first-class cricket to focus his energies on T20 leagues, said he would love to share the insights the great Dennis Lillee, whose own career was affected by stress fractures, offered him years ago when he observed Lee in the nets and suggested how to relieve the forces placed on his then still-growing frame.
”This is a real blow. He’s a great fellow and I just want to see him out on the field and playing.”
Lee said it was frustrating to think Australia’s X-factor would be sidelined and confined to rehabilitation this summer in a series where ”artillery” would be needed. ”I’m shattered for Pat because someone like him bowling 155km/h to 160km/h at the Gabba would be exciting to see,” he said. ”It would be great to see him match what the South Africans have. It’s disappointing and frustrating to think we haven’t got that now, though it’s not the poor bugger’s fault. I’m 100 per cent confident he’ll be back, but I would’ve loved to have seen him bowl to Jacques Kallis who, in my opinion, is the world’s best cricketer.”
Lee added it was important that Australia tried to match the pace South Africa would unleash in this week’s opening Test at the Gabba by selecting a four-pronged pace attack.”Is it going to be a typical Gabba wicket?” he said. ”What I mean by that is if it’s going to be a traditional early part of the season wicket that we’re used to, that has a bit of grass on it. If it is, I’d certainly put my hand up and say let’s go all out for a pace barrage. That’s what South Africa brings to the table, let’s just go and do it. That’s nothing against [spin bowler Nathan] Lyon, but Michael Clarke can play that spinners option if needed.”
While Lee said Australia’s spearheads, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson, provided pace and aggression, he conceded South Africa’s Dale Steyn gave the tourists an edge. ”He bowls 150km/h out-swingers, next question please,” said Lee when asked why Steyn was regarded the world’s best. ”It is as simple as that. No one likes facing fast bowling and he has the ability to move the ball through the air and off the seam as well. When you bowl fast, the ball generally swings later, if you bowl 130km/h the ball swings from the hand. It’s harder, in my opinion, to play a ball that moves late because you’re committed to your shot, your feet are committed to where they need to be as far as the ball goes.
”So when someone like Steyn can bowl 150km/h and swing the ball away in the conditions at Brisbane, it can be very tough for the batsmen.”
Lee said he approved of Steyn’s admission that fast bowling brought his ”killer” instinct to the surface.
”I like to see bowlers with that intimidation factor.
”If someone is bowling 130km/h, he’s not going to intimidate you from a physical chance of getting hurt … he might knock you over like Glenn McGrath did day in, day out. No one likes facing a Shoaib Akhtar, a Shaun Tait or Dale Steyn.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.