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Aussie ODI team is a work in progress
Brett Lee
10:00 AEST Thu Jan 31 2013

Brett Lee is a former Australia pace bowler who was both feared and respected by batsmen around the world. He is now a regular member of Channel Nine's cricket commentary team.
Brett Lee

Australia's performances in its drawn One-day International series against Sri Lanka showed that the team is still in a period of transition.

When you lose two key players – Michael Hussey not selected and Michael Clarke through injury, you realise just how much you depend upon the guys with extensive experience.

Players like George Bailey, Phil Hughes and David Hussey are all good enough to play at the top level but they just don't have the experience of Mike Hussey, who played 185 ODIs in his career.

It has been a tough transition for Australia in all three forms of the game over the past few years as experienced players have made way for the new generation. The selection panel now needs to back the choices it has made and give these guys a proper chance rather than rotating them out after two or three matches.

On the bowling front, Mitchell Johnson is an out and out attacking bowler, which is exactly what Australia needs from him. Mitchell Starc has been the find of the season as far as fast bowlers are concerned. Starc has done a really good job this summer. Clint McKay is the type of bowler who can tie batsmen down with a very good length in both the one-day and Twenty20 forms of the game.

Australia has definitely got the talent in the bowling ranks, it's now about building confidence and playing back-to-back matches. When I was playing I always wanted to play as many matches as possible, firstly to represent my country but also to consistently experience bowling in match conditions and to get a good rhythm happening.

Australia has suffered a bit this summer because certain players haven't been able to play back-to-back matches and get on a roll. Cricket Australia obviously has a plan in place and the public needs to understand that. The selectors must be accountable for the team they put on the park, but the players must also be accountable for their performances. Only time will tell whether the plan is right or wrong.

The Aussie squad should have no trouble adapting from Twenty20 cricket back to one-day matches. There is so much Twenty20 cricket being played at the moment, from the Big Bash League to IPL and the Champions League, that players should be used to adapting from a Twenty20 environment to that of a One-day International or even a Test match. It's not as difficult as it seems as the skills are very similar, and the 50-over game has benefitted from new batting and bowling styles that have emerged from the 20-over game.

Obviously the workload is greater for a bowler in an ODI, but I've always felt it is better for bowlers to be bowling more, not less. Bowling tactics to teams such as Sri Lanka and India from the sub-continent differ to bowling tactics to West Indian players. It's good to know your opposition, but you just need to put the ball in the right place.

When the West Indies come Down Under they always do their best and they will be very competitive in this five-match ODI series. They have players who can put on a really good show, such as experienced match winners Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. The Windies may be known for their big hitting, exciting fielding and showman-style attitudes but the Australians really need to concentrate on their own games, especially in this time of transition.


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