Sydney, Sep 22 : Veteran paceman Jason Gillespie has said that Brett Lee is more than ready to carry the Australian attack in India.
Gillespie believes that Lee, who served as a fast bowling reserve in 2004, has helped transform him into a driven, ferocious competitor.
"We must have been bowling well to keep a bowler like Brett Lee out of the team," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.
"I really think that the period where Glenn, 'Kasper' and myself were bowling together was the real turning point for Brett. It gave him an incredible hunger for Test cricket, and he just trained the house down. He knew that his mates were in really good form, and that he had to work hard. I think that, in part, it made him the bowler he is today."
"He will go down as one of the best fast bowlers the game has seen. He looks like a bit of a pretty boy with the blond hair and the guitar, but he's an absolute warrior underneath. You can't imagine what he puts his body through," Gillespie added.
He said that Lee is a completely different bowler to the one in the 2001 Ashes series. Back then, he was trying to do something different with every ball, but now he is patient and works to a plan.
Australian bowlers exploited a lack of fitness among key Indian batsmen four years ago, and a leading figure from that breakthrough series is adamant Ricky Ponting's new-look pace attack holds a similar advantage this time around.
Gillespie believes a key component to Australia's success then was his team's fitness and willingness to experiment with unorthodox game plans.
Having observed little physical improvement in the Indians in recent seasons, the 33-year-old is certain Australia's superior conditioning will prove a crucial factor in the Border-Gavaskar series over the next two months.
Gillespie partnered McGrath, Michael Kasprowicz and Shane Warne when Australia last embarked on a Test tour of India.
This time, Australia's bowling hopes will most likely rest with Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and Bryce McGain - none of whom have played a Test in India.