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Fleming plants seeds of doubt for Lee

Fleming plants seeds of doubt for Lee

Damien Fleming says Brett Lee's main concern during the Ashes will be mastering the English conditions.

London: Australia's former pace bowler Damien Fleming has said that mastering English conditions rather than fitness is Brett Lee's greatest concern in the Ashes lead-up.

Lee was named ahead of fellow New South Welshman Doug Bollinger in Australia's 15-man squad for the tournament, despite not having played since the Boxing Day Test against South Africa.

Recovering from operations on his foot and ankle might be tough, but succeeding where Lee has taken just 23 wickets at 45.4 in 10 Tests in England will be more of a challenge.

"If you have two full Ashes series and average around 45 it isn't good from your perceived No. 1 or No. 2 quick," The Herald Sun quoted Fleming, as saying.

"There's something about the conditions, the slower pitches there. He doesn't get a lot of bounce. He needs to learn from the two Ashes series and get back to his best. We have a fair bit of depth now," he added.

Fleming backed the selection of Lee for the Twenty20 and Ashes campaigns after a "frustrating 12 months".

He said the 32-year-old is no longer an automatic selection in Ricky Ponting’s Ashes XI after the emergence of Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle.

"Brett is looking good and has put on the weight he lost in India," Fleming said.

first published:May 08, 2009, 10:10 IST