TIRUNELVELI: Travelling 8792km down to India, dressed in a veshti, greeting people with vanakkams and having proper filter coffee, Australia fast bowler Brett Lee seems to be enjoying his commentator role, and is already impressed with the quality of second edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
“I thought the first year was great, but this season has absolutely gone past that. The fielding has improved a lot. I am a great fan of the event,” says Lee, who was Ruby Kanchi Warriors’ mentor in the inaugural edition.
The 39-year old was dazzled by another fast bowler: Antony Dhas from Chepauk Super Gillies.
“He was the highest wicket-taker last year. He has a nice swinging action with a good run-up, pulls down, and bowls good length. He is the guy which the team wants in as a fast bowler. He is also a hard worker.”
With T20s being a batsman’s game, bowlers nowadays have to be at their best. This format of the game, particularly, has seen a lot of innovation with the bat.
But bowlers are yet to bring in that creativity, feels Lee. “Batsmen do come up with different shots like reverse-sweeps, switch-hits, and great hook shots. But I haven’t seen the quick bouncer being bowled in this tournament. So is the case with the slow bouncer.
“Wide yorkers are always crucial. Batsmen will try to go for cover or mid-wicket and try the hook shot, which is when you have to tighten one side. Fast bouncers, slow bouncers and wide yorkers are missing here.”
To make his visit more fruitful for other players, Lee conducted workshops for the bowlers. He feels it’s always fun to guide young minds. “I was helping them first with their action, then with their dive, nutrition, weights and length. The boys are working well to learn bowling good length. In India, they bowl too short. It’s important to make sure you pitch the ball up and try to make it swing.
We know the conditions in this country won’t allow swing for more overs, so you have to use the new ball properly.”
When asked about his attire that is so in sync with Tamil culture, he replies, “I love it. I have been wearing jeans and shorts for a while, but when it comes to comfort, this is it. It’s not great when I come and hit the soccer ball, which I was doing before the start of the match. But it’s a lot of fun, very lightweight, and also keeps you cool.”