Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who turns 43 on Friday, has been prolific in all formats of cricket. Lee picked 310 wickets in 90 innings he played in the Test format. His best bowling figures in the Tests came in against New Zealand in 2008. He picked 9 wickets, giving away 171 runs. He had some of his best performances against India too. On his birthday, let us take a look at his three best Test spells of all-time.
In 1999, the former Australian pacer picked seven wickets in a match as his team had a mammoth 180-run win over India in the second Test in Melbourne. In the first innings, Australia posted a massive total of 405 runs. Michael Slater top-scored with a 179-ball-91 for the winning side. Javagal Srinath picked four wickets for the visitors. Returning with bat, India collapsed to a total of 238 runs. Sachin Tendulkar scored a century (116 off 191 balls) in that innings. Brett Lee picked up five wickets in that match with an economy rate of 2.61. In the second innings, Australia declared the score at 208 runs with the loss of five wickets. The Indian side collapsed to a total of 195 runs in that match, chasing a total of 376 runs. Lee picked up two wickets in the process, including a significant wicket of Rahul Dravid. Despite Lee’s good performance, Sachin Tendulkar, who scored a 122-ball-52 in the second innings was named as the Man of the Match.
In 2008, India and Australia both put up a tough fight against each other in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the Sydney Cricket Ground. This match was full of mesmerising performances. However, Australia won the match by 122 runs. Brett Lee picked seven wickets, giving away 153 runs in this match. In the first innings, Australia posted a total of 463 runs. Man of the Match Andrew Symonds top-scored with a 226-ball-162. On the other hand, India were in no mood to give up as they scored 532 runs in their first innings. VVS Laxman and Tendulkar scored centuries for India. For Australia, Lee shined with the ball as he picked up five wickets with an economy rate of 3.68. Returning with the bat, the Australian side declared the score at 401 runs with the loss of seven wickets. Meanwhile, chasing the total of 332, the Indian batting lineup collapsed to a total of 210 runs. Lee picked up two wickets for the winning side with an economy rate of 2.62.
In 2007, Australian bowlers attacked the Indian batting lineup in a bad way that they won the first Test match of the Border-Gavaskar trophy by a massive total of 337 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Lee picked up 6 wickets in this match, which happens to be his third-best against India. In first innings, Australia posted a total of 343 runs. Matthew Hayden top-scored with a 183-ball-124. On the other hand, India collapsed to a total of 196 runs. Lee and Stuart Clark picked two wickets each for the hosts. In the second innings, Aussies declared the score at 351 runs with the loss of seven wickets. Meanwhile, chasing a total of 498 runs, India collapsed to a total of 161 runs. Lee picked up four wickets in the process with an economy rate of 3.07.