Lee not first pick for Test team
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 13th November 2009
Brett Lee will not be Australia's first choice pick in the starting eleven in the upcoming Test series against West Indies and Pakistan, according to chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch. Hilditch made it clear that Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus would be the trio of pacers that would get preference ahead of veterans Lee and Stuart Clark.
"Obviously I can't be specific ahead of a selection meeting, but as I said after South Africa it's going to be difficult to go away from that bowling group," he was quoted as saying by The Australian.
"It's going to take something pretty special for Brett Lee or Stuart Clark to force their way in for a variety of reasons. I think the situation has pretty much remained as is. Those three bowlers were the leading wicket-takers in the Ashes.
"One (Johnson) has just been named international cricketer of the year, Hilfenhaus was the bowler of the Ashes and Peter Siddle was the young cricketer of the year.
"They've all staked really high claims to maintain their positions but Brett and Stuart Clark remain very good bowlers. Brett has been one of our very best. It's up to him to get back to four-day cricket and demonstrate a case to get back in."
After a side strain kept him out of the Ashes, Lee has bowled well on his return, albeit in the limited-overs format. However, with Hilditch making it clear that the selectors would focus not just on the present series but also keep an eye on next summer's Ashes, the emphasis is likely to shift to the younger set of bowlers.