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Kohli’s mental strength makes him a world-class player: Brett Lee

CricketKohli's mental strength makes him a world-class player: Brett Lee

TIRUNELVELI: He may have welcomed the batsmen with a bouncer during his playing days, but today Brett Lee greets you with a warm smile. The former Australian speedster, who is part of the commentary team at the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League, spoke on the current Indian pace attack and being a big fan of Virat Kohli among others. Excerpts:virat brett lee

Who has impressed you the most among the current Indian fast bowlers?

I am a great fan of this Indian team and they have got bowlers who have raw pace. Mohammed Shami, if he is fully fit, is a bowler who really impresses me. Shami is quick, has got pace and hits the right lengths on a consistent basis. Jasprit Bumrah is another serious talent in the Indian side. He possesses a different and a unique action which works for him. He has good pace as well. This Indian team has got bowlers who can bowl at over 140kph consistently. It’s a matter of whether they can do it day in and day out. Also, consistency is one thing but staying injury-free is another.

With a lot of cricket being played these days, you reckon more and more players will pick and choose formats to prolong their careers?

Yeah, they could. But for me personally, I always rated Test cricket as my favourite. I always say to bowlers to do what makes them more comfortable. At some stage, bowlers will actually think of choosing what format they want to play. To me, I really didn’t have an opportunity (of picking and choosing formats). It was Test cricket, ODIs and then T20s towards the end of my career.

You have been a big fan of Virat Kohli. Do you feel he can sustain the form in the coming years?

We all know the type of player Virat is, and his technique is impeccable. There has been a lot of media hype around him nicking on deliveries (outside the off-stump) but that was a few years ago. He has certainly changed that, and tightened up his technique. His hunger to score runs game after game and his mental strength makes Virat a world-class player. I believe we haven’t seen the best of Kohli yet. He is still young and I and my son (Preston Charles) are massive fans of Kohli as we are of Sachin Tendulkar.

What according to you are the changes bowlers can bring about to outdo the batters?

The batsmen do have the lap shot or switch shots. Bowlers, on the other hand, certainly have to work out ways in order to better the batters. The bowlers must make use of bouncers, slow-ball bouncers or the yorkers or even try different lengths in order to stay in the contest.
What’s your opinion on Washington Sundar who is having a great run in TNPL?
I have become a big fan of Washington. He has got great all-round skills and excels not just with bat or ball but also on the field. He definitely is a player for the future.

On a lighter note, how comfortable are you wearing a Veshti – the traditional attire in this part of India?
I love it and actually choose to wear it. I have been wearing the jeans or slacks for a while, but Veshti is a lot comfortable. It is very easy to dress, extremely lightweight and also keeps you cool.

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