KOLKATA: Brett Lee is excited about his ‘double role’ in the ensuing IPL-6. The Aussie will be one of the pace spearheads as well as bowling mentor of defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders. “I am quite pleased as well as excited about my new role,” Lee said after joining the squad on Friday. “We have a number of useful and talented bowlers in the side who all know their trade well,” said Lee, who has been with the Knights for the past two seasons.
The veteran pacer identified South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis as a key bowler for the Knights. “Kallis has always been a bowler you can throw the ball to for getting a breakthrough,” Lee said. Though Lee won’t get all the bowlers together for more than two days before the tournament-opener, against Delhi Daredevils at Eden Gardens on April 3, he isn’t worried. “I think they are experienced enough and know their job. It is a long tournament and you get to play some 16 matches. So there’s time to work as a unit,” Lee said.
Lee, who was named bowling mentor by the franchise after Wasim Akram took a break this year for personal reasons, explained his role. “I will be playing as well, and my job will be to share my experience with everybody so that they can use it to their advantage,” Lee said.
The 37-year-old is not ready to read too much into KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir’s omission from the Indian Test side for the recent home series versus Australia. “Test matches and T20s are different ball games. I feel Gambhir is still a good enough T20 player and I am sure his arrival will lift the side,” he remarked. The captain is expected to check into the city on Sunday.
To go into the tournament as defending champions neither gives KKR any advantage nor does it put the team under any added pressure, felt Lee. “I appreciate what we achieved last season, but it will be better to keep that out of the mind and make a fresh start,” he said. The man who pushed most batsmen to the backfoot with his pace and bounce in his heydays, was himself caught on the defensive while trying to explain Australia’s miserable show in India. “The Aussies really played very poorly and the Indians, on the other hand, utilised the conditions quite well,” he said. The pacer refused to make a prediction for the Ashes in England. “I am not into predictions, but all I can say is that the Aussies have to work a lot on their game.”