Dennis Lillee greeted news of Brett Lee’s retirement from Test cricket with the following statement:
"Brett is going to go down as one of the great all-time express bowlers in the world ... 150-plus kph puts a huge strain on the body and it can only take so much. For him to play 76 Tests and take 300-odd wickets doing what he does is a credit to him."Perhaps it takes one to know one, because I can’t for the life of me see how Lee can be considered a Test great. Apart from the first year of his career and a brief period in 2007-2008, he has actually been pretty average. He has never come close to hitting the kind of heights Dale Steyn has reached over the last couple of years. Lee has been over-hyped because he is clean living, photogenic and has happened to feature in some memorable Ashes and Border-Gavaskar battles. People’s perceptions of his effectiveness with the red ball are also coloured by his excellence with the white. Lee's ODI record may be pretty special but his Test record is not especially pretty.
At any rate, it’s sad to see him struggling with injury as he gives his all on the pitch and is very exciting to watch. Let’s hope he and his pal Freddie Flintoff both recover in time to play in next year’s World Cup.