Competitiveness to keep fans engrossed and not acrimony: Lee

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Jaipur, Sep 23 (UNI) Pace spearhead Brett Lee believes that both Indian and Australian players will bury the hatchet and controversies will take a backseat to produce some competitive on-field action when the two sides take on each other in the Test series which begins from October 9.

Lee asserted that players from both the teams have forgot the past spats particularly during India's last tour to Australia which was marred by a number of controversies.

The series in Australia, earlier this year, saw several on-field and off-field spats with Andrew Symonds-Harbhajan Singh race row being the worst of all.

However, the express pace bowler said the stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has mended the relations which were heading in the wrong direction and currently the two teams share a good rapport.

''During the IPL, the players forged good bonds and the upcoming series will be a new leaf and a new page in the history of both countries.

I hope it will be a hallmark of friendship and would help world cricket,'' Lee told mediapersons here today.

''I am not worried about what had happened in the past but we look to play here in the spirit of the game,'' he added.

The Australian players are here to play a couple of practice matches before they head to Bangalore for the first Test.

Lee, who is yet to make his Test debut in India, further added that though the Australians lack quality spinners in their ranks, India will still find it difficult to overpower the visitors.

''You may look any way you like, underdogs or not the favourites but we are a confident lot and a strong team. We have played good cricket here and will do so this time too. We are looking forward to the challenge,'' Lee said.

''We have done very well here and know about the strengths and weaknesses. Yes some big names might be missing. Players like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist are not there but the youngsters are also good.

''They might not have experience of playing Test cricket but they have done well in the domestic cricket in Australia. We have very good players like Brad Haddin and others.

''At certain point of time you have to make a debut. I feel India is the best place to play your first Test. It is a wonderful place and a great challenge too,'' he added.

The pacer, however, did agree that the inexperience bowling could Lee, however, admitted that the inexperience in the bowling department will add up the responsibility on him.

''Yes, there will be great lot of pressure on me. But I enjoy the pressure. I am looking forward to the challenge. We have our task cut out.

''I might not have played a Test here but have the experience of playing in twenty20 and one-day matches,'' he added.

The speedster further acknowledged that the experience of Greg Chappell, who is serving as assistant coach to Tim Nielson and said the former Australian captain's knowledge about Indian wickets and players would be a great help for his team.

''He is experienced and owns a great personal record. He is second to none. We are looking up to him and he is a key member of our team,'' said Lee.

Lee added that Andrew Symonds, who has been sacked from the team after a disciplinary breach, could have given the visitors some advantage.

''He is a great player. At any given point of time every one might love to have him in the team. Unfortunately he is not here but he knows what he has to do to make a come back.

''Understandably if we look at the positives his absence is an opportunity for Shane Watson. His experience of playing in IPL here might help him grab the all-rounder's slot in the team,'' Lee said.

He, however did not shy away to concede that the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman would pose the toughest challenge for his team especially when they are in their own den.

''There is no other player like Sachin in the world. It has always been a challenge to bowl to Indian batsmen and now too I am looking forward to it. I feel it will be a tough series,'' he added.


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