Bench strength in pace bowling augurs well for India: Lee


India’s bench-strength in fast bowling will help in smooth transformation once the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami retire and help the country do well in Test cricket for the next 10, 15 of even 20 years, said former Australian pace bowler Brett Lee.

‘A word here about the Indian bowling attack during the World Test Championship, which I feel has been fantastic. They have experienced bowlers and some good young guys coming through,’ said Lee in an interview to the International Cricket Council.

‘They have enough pace, are excited and enthusiastic, ready to take over from the likes of Bumrah and Shami. This trend may help India do well for the next 10, 15 or even 20 years,’ added Lee.

The right-arm pace bowler, who took 310 wickets in 76 Test matches, also said the fact that bench strength is crucial for a team nowadays, especially in times of bio-bubble, was evident from India’s success on the tour of Australia. Despite suffering injuries and pullouts, India managed to win the Test series in Australia 2-1. In fact, they won the last Test in Brisbane with a second-string bowling attack.

‘The bench-strength is crucial for a team to do well and India’s performance in Australia bears testimony to that. Teams are not of just 11 players anymore. There are some 16-17 of them and it is about having others who are good enough to stand up at the world level at any given time,’ said Lee.

‘Also, with travelling in bubbles, there will be players who get extended rests and others who get fatigued, but that is how the times are,’ he added further.

The India vs England series will start the second cycle of World Test Championship (WTC). The 44-year-old, who was among the two fastest bowlers in cricket this century, also said that the WTC has ‘set a new benchmark’ and ‘changed the cricket landscape’.

‘I love the fact that Test cricket is thriving, with an event being played on the world stage.. It is heartening to note that lots of people have been watching Test cricket, and if at all any proof was needed for that, the broadcast figures for the final released last week are there for all to see,’ he said.

‘The World Test Championship has (been) setting a new benchmark. We talk about T20 cricket and 50-over cricket and even newer versions of the game, but I believe that Test cricket continues to be in vogue.’