Ponting backs battling Brett Lee's return to Test arena

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Melbourne, Nov 2 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has backed Brett Lee's bid to beat his injury and come back into Test contention, but the fast bowler's friends Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz have warned the veteran's future should be decided purely on performance and not on reputation.

Australia will play the Test series opener against the West Indies at the Gabba starting on November 26.

Ponting said Lee's impressive form and pace since returning from foot surgery in December and a side strain during the Ashes meant he deserved to be considered for a Test recall if fit.

"As it's gone on, the last couple of months, his bowling actually got better and better and he's got a lot of bowling under his belt now," said Ponting.

Lee yesterday arrived back in Sydney vowing to return to action and dismissing speculation his career was in jeopardy, News.com.au reports.

But former Australian fast bowler Fleming said Lee faced a challenge to continue his Test career and that his record, good and bad shouldn't influence selectors' evaluation.

"For me it is all about performances at Brett's age. I don't think his reputation guarantees him an easy Test but don't think his age or previous injuries should count against him," said Fleming.

Kasprowicz, who took 113 wickets in 38 Tests, backed Lee to overcome his elbow injury and break back into the Australian ttack. (ANI)

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